We begin the tour here at the northwestern corner of the Great Basin, overlooking Malheur Lake with Mud Lake to the west. Harney Lake is just beyond the sand dunes visible on the western horizon. Lake levels can vary dramatically according to the annual winter snowpack in the Blue Mountains to the north and Steens Mountain to the south. At water levels low enough for emergent plants to grow, Malheur Lake becomes one of the West’s largest inland marshes. At high water levels, such as those that occurred in the 1980s, Malheur Lake floods into Mud and Harney Lakes, becoming Oregon’s largest lake.
From the overlook, scan the lake for seasonal concentrations of American White Pelican or Tundra Swan, and watch overhead for soaring raptors. Brewer’s Sparrow and Sage Thrasher nest in the surrounding sagebrush, and Refuge headquarters below you can be teeming with songbirds during both spring and fall migrations.
To continue the tour, cross the paved Sodhouse Lane and enter the Center Patrol Road.--- Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/malheurfriends/support
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