From Pendleton, take I-84 exit 209 and travel south on Hwy 395. Go through Pilot Rock. At the jct. of Hwys 74 and 395, stay left on 395. Go about 9 miles and look for Gurdane Road on your right. This road is approximately 24 miles long, intersects with Hwy 74 at the community of Vinson, and is one of the favored birding location of the locals. At 9.3 miles, a private road on the left leads to a gate and a creek crossing. The property owner allows birders to WALK down this road and bird the riparian area only. If you take this road, please walk and stay on the road.
This road is subject to closure in winter due to snow drifts.Directions
Habitat and Birds
This road travels through canyons, riparian strips, grasslands, and ranch/farmland. This wide variety of habitats produces a varied bird list. Specialties in this area include Common Poorwill, Gray Partridge, Chukar, Swainson’s Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Say’s Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, both shrikes, Blackcapped Chickadee, Sage Thrasher, Lark Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow, and Grasshopper Sparrow. A Clay-colored Sparrow with brood patch was photographed here in June 2019.
The Chukar and Gray Partridge populations fluctuate considerably from year to year. Some years they are plentiful and other years they are hard to find. In the good years, these birds are easiest to find in Aug. and early Sep.