This morning I took a same-day reservation from a Portland, Oregon-based birder who is coming out today on short notice to see a bird. Apparently a Little Bunting was found here in Joseph Oregon over the past few days. Looking at the ABA Birding News, it appears this Siberian bird has only been seen twice in the continental United States, both times in California. What a great find right here in Eastern Oregon! For a look at this bird, here's a nice photo from the Surfbirds website. For an image of this specific bird, here's a link to Trent Bray's birdlist (with photo) from January 29, 2013.
There is a lot of chatter (twitter, perhaps?) on the ABA website about people wanting to come to Joseph this weekend to look for the Little Bunting, which has been seen about 3 blocks from our Joseph bed and breakfast on neighborhood feeders. Some birds from Montana are even considering a trip.
If you do decide to make the trek to Joseph Oregon, allow us locals to offer a few suggestions:
- Check the weather. The forecast through the weekend is looking pretty good with highs in the 30s and lows in the teens. Our favorite website (including webcams) is www.josephoregonweather.com
- Check the roads. And be sure to bring a vehicle with traction tires or carry chains! Always a good idea in Northeastern Oregon in the winter. The Oregon Department of Transportation website is www.tripcheck.com
- If you plan to fly commercially, the closest airports are Lewiston, Idaho (LWS) about 2 hours away, or Pasco, Washington (PSC) about 3 hours away. Some people have commented that the road south from Lewiston to Joseph is too bad to drive. Many of us here would beg to differ. Just take your time and don't plan to speed. Parts of WA-129 and OR-3 are pretty twisty. Slow down for the curves and you'll eventually get here. Best to do in daylight hours.
- If you need a place to stay, we do have some lodging still available here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast. Call us at 541-432-0230 or book online. You'll also find a motel here in town and another bed & breakfast. Otherwise, plan to stay in Enterprise. You can find more lodging options via the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce's website.
Of course, we keep our bird feeders full here outside out dining room window. With any luck, that bird's going to expand its range a little and cross over Main Street to our location!