Common Grackle near Moxee

Ruth Sullivan GODWIT at worldnet.att.net
Sat Mar 16 20:03:48 PST 2002


Hello Tweets,

Today Irene Potter,and my mother and I headed to eastern WA for some late
winter birding and to search for the COMMON GRACKLE along Birchfield Rd. in
Yakima Co.(west of Moxee), which we located immediately upon arriving to the
previous location listed by others at 8:30am. The bird was actively feeding
with a small flock of mixed blackbirds containing about 12-14 Brewer's
Blackbirds,5+ Red-winged Blackbirds,3 Brown-headed Cowbirds and a small
flock of Starlings, as they foraged throughout the horse and llama corral
along Birchfield Rd. The grackle remained until 9:45am,but could not be
relocated until we arrived back at the location after doing some additional
birding at 12:30pm and was viwed by Scott Ray and one of his sons, as the
bird was perched atop telephone wires amongst a flock of Brewer's
Blackbirds. We watched the grackle for about 15 minutes,while 2 male llamas
attacked eachother in their corral, as they strutted around,biting
eachother,and showed other aggressive behavior. The bird during the morning
was best viewed as the bird was on the ground and foraging loosely amongst
the other smaller blackbirds as well as perched atop corral pipes, and in a
few of the trees on the property, whereas the bird in the afternnon was
viewed mainly on the telephone wires,but still quality scope observations.

Throughout the entire day the weather was very favorable compared to
conditions on our drive home this evening back to Tacoma with partly to
mostly sunny skies,as we encountered on a very few scattered snow/sleet
showers mainly in the Vantage area, then on our way home in the Cle Elum
area then consistant snow showers to Snoqualmie Pass turning to rain/snow
showers to Tacoma,being heavy at times. We were able to do some additional
birding as mentioned before at a few locations in Yakima and Kittitas Cos.
and encounter  a few highlights away from our target bird for the day.
Notable additional highlights at listed locations follow:

Thorp Road(Moxee Bog,west of Birchfield Rd.) 9am

3+ Common Snipes
1 pair of Great Horned Owls

Moxee Experimental Station along Hwy.24(12 miles east of Moxee
City)*accessed by permission only* 9:55am-11am

1 FERRUGINOUS HAWK(being chased by an adult GOLDEN EAGLE overhead)
1 Black Merlin
1 Mountain Chickadee
3 Red-breasted Nuthatches
17 Varied Thrushes
2 "Sooty" Fox Sparrows

Postma Road Grove(east of Moxee and well described in Andy Stepniewski's
"The Birds of Yakima County,Washington"on page 49,BUT again on private
property and accessed by permission only)  11:45am-12:15pm

1 subadult female Sharp-shinned Hawk
1 Long-eared Owl

Quilomene WRA(north of Vantage accessed from Old Ellensburg Hwy)
2:20pm-2:50pm

1 Prairie Falcon
2 Horned Larks
7 Sage Sparrows

Vantage Park along the Columbia River  3pm

3 Eared Grebes
9(8 females,1 male) Long-tailed Ducks(Oldsquaw)

Mammals:
12-15 Yellow-bellied Marmots

I-90 at Kittitas(east of Ellensburg)  3:45pm

2 Rough-legged Hawks


Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
GODWIT@ worldnet.att.net












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