[Tweeters] SAT. PM poss. GYRFALCON SE of Bickleton, Klickitat County

John Allinger nhojregnilla at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 13 07:05:20 PST 2004


We made a run out to Bickleton in eastern Klickitat County, Saturday 
afternoon, to check on raptors, and maybe luck into an early Gyrfalcon 
there.  Seems they are further south, earlier this winter, so thought we'd 
look.

Started the day spending too much time in search of the Black-throated Blue 
Warbler at the South Bonneville (Dam) and ODFW Fish Hatchery.  No Luck 
There!

Possibly saw a/the GYRFALCON at a distance, siloutted against sagebrush 
slopes down the draw, beyond the stubble.  Otherwise in that light, I'd have 
seen nothing.  The bird, a large, very light raptor, was in low flight over 
the grainfield stubble, about 3 miles SE of Bickleton.  It may have been 
fleeing to avoid us or perhps headed for the Paterson Unit of Umatilla NWR.  
Darn!  Guess we'll be back in late winter again this year to see if it can 
be relocated.

Also, had a NORTHERN SHRIKE and a pair of NORTHERN ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS along 
Dot Road atop the high plateau, and above the river.

To give you an idea of how late in the afternoon it was, thereafter the 
birds were three GREAT-HORNED OWLS!

In Old Lady Gulch along the lower section of Dot Road we had a flock of 
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, a gathering of about a hundred AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES 
and a sizeable flock of DARK-EYED JUNCO'S.  The real suprise was the 
metallic 'pink' alarm call responding to 'pishing'.  This reminded me of a 
recent posting pointing out that this was the alarm call of the SWAMP 
SPARROW!  It may have been streamside, but it definitely in no swamp!  
Couldn't get it in a position to see it.  (Same location as the Connecticut 
Warbler sighting of a number of years ago now!)

****  ************  ****
John & Loraine Allinger
birding over in Klickitat County, Washington
< nhojregnilla at hotmail.com >




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