[Tweeters] adventures in good birding

Marv Breece mbreece at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 14 20:27:19 PST 2005

Sat, Sun and today (3/14/05) I birded Kittitas, Grant, Adams and Douglas

Saturday morning I searched the Columbia River along both sides between
Vantage and the dam, but found no TUFTED DUCK.  So I headed east across the
Columbia River to listen at the cliff for my first CANYON WREN of the year.
Just before I heard the wren, I spotted a MERLIN atop the cliff, looking
around for a potential meal.

Then I drove east on Lower Crab Creek Road, one of my favorite places.  Had
CRANES came in and landed.

On B Street, I didn't find any TREE SPARROWS. Instead, I found a stubborn
cow, trotting north, heading right for busy Hwy 26, with traffic zooming
by.  Switched priorities and tried to herd the cow in the opposite
direction.  It was more stubborn than me, as it flanked me by hitting the
ditch.  So I backed up and got out of the car.  Finally, on foot, I got the
critter turned, now trotting southbound, away from potential disaster.  It
was a little embarassing, calling 911 about a rogue cow.  Still, I figured
it was better than having that cow plow into a fast moving vehicle.

In late afternoon, I returned to Huntzinger Road (Vantage) to look once
more for the TUFTED DUCK and perhaps see some ROSY-FINCHES as well.  It was
like a big ice cream cone of foul flavor;  a double dipper!  

Thoroughly discouraged,  I called it a day.  Thought about quitting birding

The next morning I arrived at Leahy in Douglas County in time to see 11
male GREATER SAGE GROUSE.  They put on quite a show.  As I drove away at
about 7:30, 7 of them flew across the road within about 30 feet, allowing
better looks at these birds than I ever thought I would get.  

Decided to visit Wilson Creek for a possible FERRUGINOUS HAWK.  As I was
digiscoping the female on the cliff far away, the male flew in and the pair
mated as I clicked the shutter.  Good thing they were birds.  Not far from
Wilson Creek, a PRAIRIE FALCON struggled to remain on a telephone pole
cross bar as the wind blew fiercely.  

Back to the Bridgeport area, I was hoping to see a SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, but
didn't really expect to.  Imagine my surprise as a single bird flew right
at me as I drove along Central Ferry Canyon Road.  There was no time to
grab the binoculars, but no need to, either.  The bird flew overhead at
about 15 feet.  That made the trip.  To heck with ducks, rosie-finches and

In the late afternoon, there were 2 CHUKARS taking gravel along the road at
Sun Lake and another 2 at Lake Lenore.  

Today I made an early morning stop at Othello to see blackbirds.  They were
scattered around the area in small groups.  I saw some TRICOLORED
BLACKBIRDS at the plant at the top of the hill and below as well, near the
Para Ponds.  

Then I made a half-hearted try again for the duck near Vantage;  no luck. 
At Quilomene I heard and saw SAGE SPARROWS and a GOLDEN EAGLE.  At the OK
corral in the same area were a pair of MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS and a SAY'S

It was a good week end.

Marv Breece
Seattle, WA

--- Marv Breece
--- mbreece at earthlink.net

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