BLM Wilderness Study Area, Adel

Near the town of Adel, the BLM Wilderness Study Area is probably the best place in Oregon to find a Juniper Titmouse. While this species was the main goal of my hike in this area, there were many other species to enjoy, along with the great views. To reach this site, park in the wide pullout off the westbound lane of Hwy 140 near milepost 25. Just a few yards west of the pullout, a dirt road leads up the hill toward the top of Fish Creek Rim. Walk up this road to its terminus at the communication towers at the top of the rim. (Because of these towers, you actually have good cell phone reception throughout the hike, an unusual occurrence in this part of Oregon.)

This blurry Chipping Sparrow was part of a small flock of sparrows near the start of the hike. A Black-throated Sparrow was a nice surprise.

Rock Wrens were common on the way up the hill, perching in junipers, sage, and occasionally on rocks.

The view from about half-way up the hill, looking down toward the highway and Deep Creek

Farther up the hill

The view from the top, looking down on the Warner Valley. The wetlands in the valley are the source of the Ring-billed Gulls and American White Pelicans which can be seen soaring over the juniper woodlands.

The top of the rim is more tundra-like, with a few trees and short grasses. Mountain Bluebirds and Western Meadowlarks are common in this area.

Variable Checkerspots were clinging to the road to avoid the strong winds.

Mountain Lion tracks

Mountain Cottontail

On the way back down the hill, three and a half hours into the four-hour hike, I did find a Juniper Titmouse. I try not to put too much emphasis on “target birds,” but it is nice when you actually find them.