Sharp-tailed Grouse near Bridgeport,Douglas Co.

Ruth Sullivan godwit at
Thu Dec 27 21:11:45 PST 2001

Hello Tweets,

My mother and I birded another two days in northcentral WA on December 26th
and 27th visiting many of the same locations, with a few additional areas on
this trip, with weather conditions being fairly similiar to our last
excursion with NO precipitation, with mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies,
at times. Our main purpose of the trip besides with unsuccessfully finding
the Brambling, was to observe the Yellow-throated Warbler again, explore the
Winthrop area of Okanogan Co., and do some additional birding on the
northern Waterville Plateau area. As mentioned in our previous posting we
were unable to relocate the Brambling during our two day visit to
Bridgeport, but we were able to locate some additional highlights in the
Bridgeport area, including our main highlight of the trip being 20
SHARP-TAILED GROUSE observed and photographed along Bridgeport Hill Rd.
during two visits on the 27th, where 9 were observed the previous day, as
they foraged loosely within the extensive stands of Water Birch along Foster
Creek, west of Hwy.17. This is the same location where we have personally
encountered this species in past years, but numbers seem to flucuate
depending on their available winter food source. The stands closest to the
road, or further away from the road along the immediate Foster Creek seem to
produce the birds particularly from 8am-10:30am, where the birds come in to
feed on the Water Birch "buds", often feeding near the tops of the trees(as
well as lower in the trees), BUT are most and best viewed if observed solely
from the vehicle without getting out, or making too much noise. If disturbed
the birds tends to flush easily, and often fly up over a the ridge above
Foster Creek, but they don't seem to be bothered by normal traffic along
this road.

We encountered the Yellow-throated Warbler on the 26th at 62 Magers Street
in the Horseshoe Community Trailer Park, where it was seen by several
additional waiting birders, within 5 minutes of our arrival to the site at
1:22pm. It was well seen, as it foraged around the occupied feeders of seed
and suet to 1:35pm, just shortly before we left and headed to explore the
Winthrop with other birders. Up to 2 female PURPLE FINCHES were also present
at this location mixed in with fairly good numbers of House Finches,
American Goldfinches, and a few Common Redpolls, and observed by several
observers. Despite not seeing the Brambling my mother and I enjoyed meeting
the several birders in the field, and visiting the Winthrop area, as well as
the winter scenery in northcentral Washington. A list of our highlights at
listed locations follows during our two day excursion, including the most
notable species or high number accounts:

December 26th,2001

Bridgeport,Douglas Co.(DO) 8:15am-11:40am

2 Trumpeter Swans
1 Merlin
2 Cooper's Hawks
5 Steller's Jays
2 Red-breasted Nuthatches
1 Brown Creeper
3 Townsend's Solitaires
1 Hermit Thrush
2 Varied Thrushes
1 immature Northern Shrike
23 Common Redpolls

Pateros/mouth of the Methow River,Okanogan Co.(OK) 12pm

2 Barrow's Goldeneyes
1 adult Northern Shrike

Hwy.153, south of Carlton,OK

32 Bohemian Waxwings

Twisp,OK 1:15pm-1:40pm

2 Purple Finches
5 Common Redpolls

Winthrop/E Chewack Rd. near Pearrygin Lake S.P.,OK 1:45pm-2:50pm

1 Red-breasted Sapsucker
110 Bohemian Waxwings
12 Pine Grosbeaks
100+ Common Redpolls

December 27th,2001

Bridgeport Hill Rd.,DO 8am,9:45am-10:30am

560+ Horned Larks
8 Gray-crowned rosy Finches
5 Common Redpolls

Hwy.17, east of Mansfield, west of Heritage Rd.(labeled Wood Rd. in WA
DeLorme atlas),DO 9:15am-9:25am

250+ Horned Larks
3 Lapland Longspurs

Chief Joseph Dam/mouth of Foster Creek,DO 10:30am-10:45am

2 Trumpeter Swans

Hwy.173, east of MP 10 and Brewster bridge along the Columbia River,DO

250+ Canvasback
450+ Redhead
84 Ring-necked Ducks
180+ Greater Scaup
110+ Lesser Scaup
350+ Ruddy Ducks

Central Ferry Canyon Rd.,DO 12:30pm-1:30pm(including scoping views of the
Columbia River at the base of Central Ferry Canyon Rd., with many of the
waterfowl observed in Okanogan Co.)

135 Canvasback
84 Redhead
36 Ring-necked Ducks
105 Greater Scaup
42 Lesser Scaup
18 Bohemian Waxwings
1 Northern Shrike
28 Pygmy Nuthatches

Brewster,OK 1:50pm

1 Merlin

Hwy.97 at MP 239.2,Chelan Co.(just south of the alternate Hwy.97/Hwy.97
interchange) 2:20pm

1 Gray-crowned Rosy Finch(flying over)

Hwy.97 at MP 216.4,DO 3pm

1 Red-necked Grebe

Orondo,DO 3:20pm-3:45pm

2 Pacific Loons
1 Red-necked Grebe
1 Eurasian Wigeon
1 Merlin
1 Townsend's Solitaire

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan

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