[Tweeters] Columbia Basin; 16 November 2004

Charlie Wright c.wright7 at comcast.net
Tue Nov 16 23:07:21 PST 2004

Greetings all:
Fred Boesche and I left around 4am this morning and headed east. On the way
to Washtucna we pulled off Hwy 26 about 2-3 miles west of Othello at
sunrise. A fairly large flock of blackbirds feeding in some weeds included
500 Red-winged, 100 Yellow-headed, and 3 male Tricolored Blackbirds.

At Washtucna, we pulled into Bassett Park at 9am. The place seemed dead.
Matt Bartels and Bart Whelton had already been working the area for two
hours and had no luck. We walked around and birded the town for an hour and
a half, but found no warblers. There were two Blue Jays just north of
Bassett Park, acting rather secretive but calling every so often. A few
Mountain Chickadees and two Bohemian Waxwings were the only other birds of
interest. In the lagoon just south of town, at least 3 or 4 Virginia Rails
called back at me.

Driving south on the highway we had several Northern Shrikes, Rough-legged
Hawks, a Prairie Falcon, and a Say's Phoebe. Our next stop was Lower
Monumental Dam, where there was just a scattering of gulls including a
couple Glaucous-winged and one adult Thayer's Gull. We then checked Windust
Park rather thoroughly, but there was very little activity outside of 4
Mountain Chickadees, 5 Brown Creepers, and a Hermit Thrush. There were at
least 80 Common Goldeneyes in the river near grain elevators. We swung south
to Barr Canyon Road then got on the main Pasco-Kahlotus Rd. We pulled off at
one spot where several large skeins of geese were flying towards Windust
from the east (Scooteney Res?). After about a minute, I was able to pick out
a Ross's Goose, only about a third the size of the large Canadas.

We ended the day at Wahluke Slope and Hanford Reach. A few Hermit Thrushes,
a Winter Wren, and two pugetensis White-crowned Sparrows were in the locusts
near the boat launch. The reach was pretty slow: one Bald Eagle, an American
White Pelican, and fifteen or so Glaucous-winged Gulls. As we were driving
out, about 1.5 miles from Hwy 26 we observed three Snow Buntings along the
gravel road.

That's about all
cheers and good birding,
Charlie Wright
Bonney Lake, Washington

c.wright7 at comcast.net 

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