The Gray Catbird is no longer a nemesis species for me due (with thanks) to the folks who scouted Lake Creek Lodge in advance of the Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival that is held the first week of June each year in Sisters, Oregon.
I checked-in at the office the first morning when they opened at 8:00 am and was given permission to bird the entire grounds.
Jill's family has a long history of vacationing at Lake Creek Lodge. Her mother Molly first visited the lodge during the summer of 1946 when she was 13 years-old. I hope Molly enjoys this post as much as I've enjoyed my first experience of birding there.
On June 4th, the Catbirds were observed carrying nesting material, which suggests the chicks could fledge any day now. I have not been able to hear the chicks begging, but the adults keep busy bringing food to the nest about every 15 minutes, sometimes more frequently. The adults are also very vocal at times which as been a real treat, and they appear almost oblivious to people - even the ones who were playing in the creek just a few meters away from the nest.
Following are some images of the grounds of Lake Creek Lodge and a few other species of birds I enjoyed seeing there. Not pictured, unfortunately, was a glorious Adult Male Northern Goshawk which made a low pass through the forest right in front of me. I guess I am going to have to start looking for them again.
Over the bridge below and to your left is where the Catbirds are breeding: Approximate location of the nest - (actually it is in the shrub that is behind the one highlighted):
Dusky Flycatcher (until I stand corrected by someone more knowledgeable about Empidonax Flycatchers): Western Tanager:
MacGillivray's Warbler (female | male respectively):
Hooded Merganser (female with brood): Western Wood-Pewee nests were seemingly everywhere:
The history of Lake Creek Lodge: http://www.lakecreeklodge.com/history
Map of the area birded: