Columbia Basin and SE Washington

Rob McNair-Huff rob at whiterabbits.com
Mon Sep 23 08:28:42 PDT 2002


Natalie and I ventured to Eastern Washington this weekend, making stops 
along Hwy. 410 in the Cascade Mountains, along Hwy. 24 as it cuts 
through the Hanford Reach, and then south to the Blue Mountains and to 
Wawawai Canyon outside Pullman.

Highlights of the trip include a Grasshopper Sparrow in the sagebrush 
at the Wahluke Slope Wildlife Area, a Great Horned Owl at dusk Saturday 
and a Gray Catbird Sunday morning at Lyon Ferry State Park, and two 
porcupines - one at the White Bluffs boat landing on the Hanford Reach 
and the other wandering along the road on Hwy. 261 near Starbuck on 
Sunday morning.

I was disappointed to see signs at both Lyon Ferry State Park and at 
Central Ferry State Park that both of these parks are scheduled to 
close permanently in October. Lyon Ferry closes on Oct. 1 and Central 
Ferry on Oct. 21, according to the signs. And here I thought that this 
$5 parking fee at state parks was supposed to stop the closures of any 
parks...

Saturday, Sept. 21

Tipsoo Lake
- quite a few Dark-eyed Junco (no migrating raptors here like we saw 
last weekend near Sunrise)
- Stellar's Jay
- 2 Brown Trout in one of the smaller ponds
- small blue butterfly nectaring on the few remaining blooms in the 
meadow

Hwy. 410 and Hwy. 12 intersection at Oak Creek
- Lewis's Woodpecker flying over the highway

Along Hwy. 24 near Moxee
- 3 Common Raven
- juvenile Red-tailed Hawk that drew our attention because it was 
hovering like a kite or Northern Harrier while hunting over a farm field
- Swainson's Hawk

Near Saddle Mountain NWR
- 2 Chipping Sparrow
- thousands of Orange Sulphur butterflies over an alfalfa field

Wahluke Slope Wildlife Area
- flocks of Horned Lark along the road up to the Saddle Mountains
- White-crowned Sparrow
- 2 Sage Sparrow
- Chipping Sparrow
- Meadowlark singing at the top of the mountain
- 2 Northern Harrier flying along the northern slope of the mountain
- Grasshopper Sparrow on the south side of the mountain along the 
canal, sitting on top of a fence post long enough for a great look

White Bluffs Boat Launch on the Columbia River
- Ring-billed and California Gull
- Yellow-rumped Warbler
- Northern Flicker
- Mallard
- 1 Porcupine in the lower branches of a Locus tree along the river's 
edge

Ending the day at the Lyon Ferry State Park campground (which, 
according to a sign at the pay station is scheduled to permanently 
close on Oct. 1, 2002 due to park budget restrictions)
- 1 Great Horned Owl on top of a sign at dusk that I completely missed 
while reading the sign...Natalie pointed it out, but it flew away 
before we could get a photo

Sunday, Sept. 22

Lyon Ferry State Park
- numerous Orange-crowned Warbler
- 1 Gray Catbird
- tons of American Robin
- Northern Flicker
- Mourning Dove
- California Quail (heard)

Tucannon River in the Blue Mountains
- numerous Red-tailed Hawks
- American Kestrel
- Belted Kingfisher
- Dark-eyed Junco
- large numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatch
- Ring-necked Pheasant (near the town of Marengo)
- California Tortoiseshell butterflies on the wing everywhere, 
especially far up the river past the Tucannon Campground
- Woodland Skipper, a single very weathered fritillary, a small 
crescent species, and an anglewing species of butterfly

Wawawai Canyon near Pullman
- 2 American Kestrel on the road down into the canyon
- 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk near the intersection with Hwy. 195
- Northern Flicker
- Ring-necked Pheasant
- numerous Red-tailed Hawk
- numerous Black-billed Magpie
- Orange Sulphur butterflies puddling along with an anglewing in the 
sand in the play area at Wawawai County Park

Dodson Road near the intersection with Frenchman Hill Road at sunset
- Barn Swallow
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow
- numerous Yellow-rumped Warbler
- Cassin's Finch
- Northern Harrier hunting in the field behind the Russian Olive


Rob McNair-Huff ------------ rob at whiterabbits.com
White Rabbit Publishing -- http://www.whiterabbits.com/
Mac Net Journal ---------- http://www.whiterabbits.com/MacNetJournal
The Equinox Project ------- http://www.whiterabbits.com/weblog.html
Co-author of Insiders' Guide to the Olympic Peninsula (Globe Pequot)



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