[Tweeters] Purple Martins at Goose Lake,Skamania Co.

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Fri Jul 22 16:57:02 PDT 2005


Hello Tweets,

Our travels over the past 2 days(July 21st and 22nd)led us to the Goose Lake-Willard  area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Skamania Co. The trip was primarily a dragonfly trip,but like other recent trips we included birding too. The weather was very nice and "hot" yesterday,but cloudy skies prevailed overnight with heavy rain at times until we arrived back to the Washougal area this morning. During our visit to Skamania Co. yesterday we traveled north of Hwy.14 at Cook through the small town of Willard,then continuing onto FR 66 north to South Prairie and eventually reaching Goose Lake. We stayed overnight near South Prairie with very windy and rainy conditions during the early morning,so we decided to work our way home and check a few areas including the River S Unit of the Ridgefield NWR. Our most significant bird sighting while searching for dragonflies yesterday was up to 8 Purple Martins at Goose Lake with at least 2 males observed entering nestholes within a natural snag near the center portion of the lake. This location is about 30 miles north of Hwy.14 and above 1000 meters in elevation. We were very surprised to see Purple Martins at the relatively remote mountain location and suspect they are successfully breeding here since there are several natural areas that host nesting cavities and plenty of food sources for them too. At times the Purple Martins were observed foraging fairly high above the lake with good numbers of both Violet-green and Tree Swallows,where they actively called too. We wonder if Purple Martins may nest at other locations within the south Cascades of Washington or other remote locations with the most nearby sightings coming from the Bingen-White Salmon area of Klickitat Co and at Skamania Landing area at Skamania in Skamania Co.

Other bird sightings encountered within the Goose Lake-South Prairie area for both days included the following:

Green-winged Teal
1 at South Prairie on the 21st

Turkey Vulture
1 over Goose Lake on the 21st

Ruffed Grouse
1 along FR 66 above Willard on the 21st

Spotted Sandpiper(4 adults,1 juvenile)
5 at Goose Lake on the 21st

Band-tailed Pigeon
1 at South Prairie on the 21st

Common Nighthawk
25+ at South Prairie on the 21st

Northern Three-toed Woodpecker
1 adult male at South Prairie on the 21st

Olive-sided Flycatcher
1 along FR 6035 north of Goose Lake on the 21st
1 at South Prairie on the 21st

Willow Flycatcher
1 at South Prairie on the 21st

Hammond's Flycatcher
1 at South Prairie on the 21st
1 at Goose Lake on the 21st

Dusky Flycatcher
1 at South Prairie on the 21st

MacGillivray's Warbler
3 at Goose Lake on the 21st
3 at South Prairie on the 21st

Lincoln's Sparrow
8+ at South Prairie on the 21st



This morning(July 22nd)on our way home our first stop was made along Hwy.14 east of Washougal in Clark Co. at a wide area of the shoulder that overlooks the Steigerwald Lake NWR. We carefully scoped the muddy margins of a wetland that lies closest to the highway in search of shorebirds,etc. with the following highlights noted below:

1 Great Egret
2 Northern Harriers
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Semipalmated Sandpiper
13 Long-billed Dowitchers

Continuing westward a quick,but safe glance over Hwy.14 at MP 11 revealed 2 Am.White Pelicans roosting with a small gull group on a "spit" of land sticking out from an island that we presume is Ackerman Island.

Next, soon before arriving at the River S Unit of the Ridgefield NWR we located a single Lewis' Woodpecker that was noted along the uphill climb along S.9th Avenue,as soon as we turned south off of S.R.501(Pioneer Street). A nice species for Clark Co.,especially for a July record! The bird was observed perched atop treetops on the east side of the road,then it continued westward over homes that overlooked the Ridgefield NWR. The bird eventually continued to the west and presumably ascended into a large stand of Black Cottonwood trees along the railroad line,but could have continued to another location since conditions were slightly windy at the time.

Our visit between 9am-10am to the River S Unit of the Ridgefield NWR was worthwhile,despite increasing rain during the latter portion of our visit and fairly high water levels at most locations. Our main highlights consisted of the following:

6 Great Egrets
3 adult Black-crowned Night Herons(3 birds noted together near the entrance kiosk in the first stretch of the loop in a wetland area favored by Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets)
3 Redheads(1 male,2 females at Rest Lake)
15+ Ruddy Ducks
4 Turkey Vultures
2 Northern Harriers
3 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Least Sandpiper
8 Long-billed Dowitchers
6 Wilson's Snipe
1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher


Dragonfly species encountered during out trip included the following:

Emerald Spreadwing
Boreal Bluet
Pacific Forktail
Blue-eyed Darner
Common Green Darner
Pacific Spiketail
American Emerald
Mountain Emerald
Ringed Emerald
Four-spotted Skimmer
Common Whitetail
Hudsonian Whiteface
Striped Meadowhawk

For those of you that are interested we have placed 10 new photos of recent dragonfly scans in our dragonfly gallery at the following link:  http://www.pbase.com/godwit/dflies



Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
Fircrest,WA
godwit at worldnet.att.net











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