I decided to try to find a nice loop through the western side of the WMA. I found just that by starting off on a road I went down in June (June Trip) and simply kept turning left when I had the option. I started off at the lower star on the map and went counter-clockwise. I found myself back on the paved FR 27 at the top star. From there back to the car down the left side of my loop is all paved. 7 miles in all.
There is a lack of variety of birds in these woods this time of year, but the birds you do see are in groups that are fun to discover and hunt through. The birds all seem to be in fresh plumage.
For a more general map of the White River WMA, try this one. I have updated it with other bird hikes I have done on area.
Woodpeckers were a common species seen. This Williamson's Sapsucker triggered a rare bird alert in eBird, I found it right before I returned to my car along FR 27. I would assume only due to lack of effort, but eBird has only two records of this species in this area of the county between Sept-Mar, 8 records for the entire county during this period.
Hairy Woodpeckers were the most common woodpecker found.
This Black-backed Woodpecker was up near where the dirt road I hiked hooked up with FR 27.
Not all Mountain Chickadees are in Western Oregon now. Beautiful birds.
I have tried to pay more attention to the subspecies of White-breasted Nuthatch. These were all chattering with a rapid call. A feature of the tenuissima subspecies (lumped with nelsoni in Sibley's Interior West bird), the subspecies which should be found in Eastern Oregon.
More info: White-breasted Nuthatch
Interior West birds have narrower black crowns than the Pacific group, and they lack a black mark behind the eye which can sometimes be found on the Pacific group.
Compared to the Pacific group the Interior West birds have darker but not black centers to the greater coverts, they are shown here as the dark dashes on the gray background. The Pacific group supposedly has paler, less contrasting centers on the greater coverts.
The flanks are supposedly darker gray, rarely suffused with buff, the Pacific birds are paler on the flanks and can be suffused with buff.
Taken with my iphone, most of the hike was on bare ground or patchy snow. This dark canyon is where Tygh Creek crosses FR 27. It was 2 pm, the area was still dark and cold, no winter sun reaches this area.
This is Tygh Creek down in the WMA, just as dark and cold. I spent some time searching the grove for owls.
This Mule Deer ( I think) was on FR 27, it was a beautiful beast, it just stood there and watched me walk towards it. Black-tailed Deer are subspecies of the Mule Deer. Mule Deer are larger and have big mule-like ears. They also have a larger white rump and a smaller black tipped tail compared to smaller white rumped and larger, solid black (dorsal surface) tail on the Black-tailed. Black-tailed Deer are a western Oregon species but I understand they do occur on eastside of Mt Hood.
This print in the snow was the size of my hand. Tons of animal tracks were seen, of all sizes and shapes.
White River WMA Loop, Wasco, Oregon, US
Nov 28, 2015 9:15 AM - 1:15 PM
Comments: temps 14-22 degrees F, no wind clear skies. Went to see if any Pine Grosbeak or Redpolls had shown up in area. No juncos.
Wild Turkey 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Williamson's Sapsucker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 5
Black-backed Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 4
Steller's Jay 8
Common Raven 4
Mountain Chickadee 23
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 14
Red-breasted Nuthatch 6
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Pacific Wren 4
Golden-crowned Kinglet 30
Varied Thrush 5
Red Crossbill 9
Thanks for the visit