I had the chance to visit Fort Rock State Park recently. This is a U-shaped rock formation (formerly a volcanic island in the middle of a huge lake) surrounded by sage steppe. This site is a lovely sample of high rimrock and sagebrush habitats, attractive to a nice selection of birds and other wildlife.
Loggerhead Shrikes were some of the more frequently encountered birds within the crater.
Sagebrush Sparrow is reliable here, as is Brewer’s Sparrow, although the Brewer’s did not let me get close enough for a photo.
Green-tailed Towhees were surprisingly shy, only allowing distant views.
This California Quail was hanging out in the parking lot.
Here are four of the TWENTY-SEVEN baby California Quail I saw along a narrow trail. Baby quail can fly, and were flushing all around me.
I was really hoping to find some herps on this trip, but my luck with reptiles has been terrible this year. I did manage to find four Northern Scorpions, which is pretty neat, but I would have much preferred a few snakes and lizards.