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North Fork Wenas Creek, Wenas Wildlife Area
June 2021


Synopsis
After 5 years away, we returned to the Wenas Campground on North Fork Wenas Creek. The campground has a big makeover several years ago - campsites right next to the creek were blocked to protect the creek and wildlife and vault toilets were installed at the campground. Despite going on a beautiful summer weekend, the campground and wildlife area were relatively empty with the exception of large clusters of campers that seemed to bring everything from ATVs to the kitchen sink. Our modest tent camping was a rarity in the wildlife area.

However, we still had fun camping among the dry creek beds, wildflower filled meadows, and ponderosa pine. We hiked up North Fork Wenas Road listening to the many Nashville Warblers, Western Wood-pewees, Dusky Flycatchers, and Cassin's Finch. Fritillary butterflies flitted among the fields of larkspur and field mint. In the evening at the campground, we were delighted by the sights and sounds of Common Nighthawks gliding overhead. Among the dense riparian of Wenas Creek, Veerys, Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeaks sang. A surprising number of Red-naped Sapsuckers flew through the ponderosa. Bring a tollerance for loud off road vehicles and Wenas is a delight for the naturalist and birder.

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Pictures (click on thumbnail to enlarge)













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Bird List
Sooty Grouse
heard
Mourning Dove
3
Common Nighthawk
6
Common Poorwill
2, heard
Vaux's Swift
4
Rufous Hummingbird
1
Calliope Hummingbird
pair
Turkey Vulture
5
Golden Eagle
1
Red-tailed Hawk
1
Red-naped Sapsucker
many
Downy Woodpecker
2
Hairy Woodpecker
1
Northern Flicker
1
Western Wood-Pewee
many
Gray Flycatcher
4
Dusky Flycatcher
8
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
4
Warbling Vireo
many singing
Steller's Jay
1
Common Raven
2
Mountain Chickadee
4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
4
Violet-green Swallow
2
Red-breasted Nuthatch
3
White-breasted Nuthatch
1
Townsend's Solitaire
3
Veery
4
American Robin
10
Cedar Waxwing
6
Purple Finch
2
Cassin's Finch
5
Red Crossbill
8
Pine Siskin
4
American Goldfinch
3
Chipping Sparrow
10
Lark Sparrow
2
Dark-eyed Junco
1
Song Sparrow
4
Spotted Towhee
6
Bullock's Oriole
1
Brown-headed Cowbird
4
Nashville Warbler
6
Yellow Warbler
4
Yellow-rumped Warbler
6
Western Tanager
10
Black-headed Grosbeak
10
Lazuli Bunting
1
Critters:
Coyote
heard
Golden-manteled squirrel
Douglas squirrel
Least chipmunk
Western fence lizard
2
Red-legged frog
1
Snowberry clearwing (bumble bee mimic)
1
Butterflies:
Pale tiger swallowtail
3
Fritillary sp.
many
Persius duskywing
1
Lorquin's admiral
1
Flowers:
Large-flowered collomia
Great northern aster
Harsh paintbrush
Scarlet gila
Fan-leaf cinquifoil
Lupine sp.
Yellow desert fleabane
Shaggy fleabane
Yarrow
Columbian onion
Twin arnica
Hairy Indian paintbrush
Thompson's paintbrush
Douglas dustymaiden
Twospike larkspur
Parsnip-flower wild buckwheat
Oregon sunshine
Purple monkey-flower
Common monkey-flower
Sticky purple geranium
Mountain tarweed
Wild mint
Sharpleaf penstemon
Chelan penstemon
Douglas' catchfly
Meadow death camas
Small-head clover
American speedwell
American vetch
Northern mule-ear
Snowberry

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page updated: 7/27/21