[Tweeters] Moses Lake, Pothoes, Columbia WLR, Othello

Hill hill at smwireless.net
Mon Mar 27 20:33:22 PST 2006

One of the Burrowing Owls there last year was banded.  If anyone sees a banded Burrowing Owl this year in Adams or Grant County please contact me.  I have a graphic that I can send anyone interested for the bands and how to read and record/report the letter/number codes.  You will need to record band color, which leg the color band is on, and the orientation.

Randy Hill
hill at smwireless.net
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nancy 
  To: Tweets 
  Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 7:31 AM
  Subject: [Tweeters] Moses Lake, Pothoes, Columbia WLR, Othello

  Hello Tweeters,

  Anxious to start some spring birding we drove over to Moses Lake on Friday 3/24.  It was a beautiful sunny day there and raining in Seattle.  It was quite windy however.  Saturday it rained but Sunday was sunny and windy again.

  We headed out for our favorite spot to see if the Western Grebe were there to do their mating dance.  We had seen them there last May and it was quite an incredible sight.  The spot is written in "Birding Washington" by Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff on page 326 in the Potholes and Desert Wildlife area section.  Take exit 169 off of I90 heading south on the frontage road and approximately 2 miles is the entrance to the Potholes where we saw the grebes.  We plan to go back in May to see if they are there as it was too early to see them yet.  If you head north you will come to Dodson road and turn left to find Birders Corner and Frenchman hills, a wonderful spot as well.  The book was published in 2005 and states that there are Burrowing Owls at Birders Corner, but we have been there twice and have never seen them.  I am thinking it is either too early in the season or the location is no longer valid.  Do any of you have any information about this site?

  One thing we did see was plenty of AMERICAN KESTRELS along Dodson Road and elsewhere along the roads.   They can be found sitting on wires overlooking farm fields in quantity.  We counted over 20 of them over a 3-day period. 

  We stopped at the Ginko Petrified Forest in Vantage on our way and saw a HORNED LARK  and plenty of singing MEADOW LARKS.  In fact the MEADOW LARKS were singing everywhere in the sage country.  We had hoped to find some Vesper Sparrows, Sage Sparrows or Sage Thrashers but it must be too early for them as well.  The only birds in the sage were the MEADOW LARKS, MAGPIES AND RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS that we could find.  There were plenty of all three species.

  Here is the list of birds we saw:


  Horned Lark, Magpie, Meadow Larks and a heard of white tailed deer.

  Moses Lake:

  Common Mergansers, House Sparrows, Rock Doves, Red-winged Blackbirds, American Crow, Buffelhead, Great-Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, Magpie, 2 Beavers, Herring Gulls, Crows.

  The Potholes:

  Bald Eagle, Magpie, Double-crested Cormorant, American Coots, Canvasback Ducks, American Wigeons, Great Egret, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Greater Scaup, Meadow Lark, Mourning Dove.

  Birders Corner:

  Marsh Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, Trumpeter Swans, Killdeer, American Robins, Pintail Duck, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, House Finch, Canvasback Ducks, Magpies, American Wigeon, Shoveler Ducks, Greater Scaup, Dark-eyed Junco.

  We saw what we thought was a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and it fit the description to a tee but the legs were reddish orange not yellow.  Could this bird have been anything else?

  Patterned brown back and unpatterned wing edges, white unpatterned chest, black eye with a white eye ring, long pointed black bill slightly upturned and long red-orange legs.

  Saturday morning there were huge flocks of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS on Moses Lake.  There must have been several hundred of them.

  We drove into the Columbia Wildlife Refuge from highway 26 onto Seeps Lake Road and through the refuge to Othello.

  Warden Lake:

  Northern Flicker, Meadow Lark, Marsh Wrens, rafts of  American Coots, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Magpies, Northern Harrier, Canyon Wrens, American Kestrels, Brewers Blackbirds, California Quail, White-crowned Sparrows, and we heard and then saw a small flock of SANDHILL CRANES.

  Quail Lake:

  Red-headed Ducks, American Coots, Meadow Larks, Killdeer, Red-winged Blackbirds.

  Swan Lake:

  Canada geese, Mallards, Red-winged Blackbirds, Marsh Wrens, Meadow Lark, Common Raven.

  Sage Lake:

  Greater Scaup, Red-tailed Hawk, Meadow Lark, Canada Geese


  Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewers Blackbirds, Cow Birds, American Kestrels.

  Follow HW 26 West from Othello between B & C street to see thousands of SANDHILL CRANES.   This was the weekend for the Sandhill Crane Festival.  They were definitely worth the entire trip just to hear them.  But seeing them was fabulous as well.  We also saw as many Canada Geese in a pond before C street.   There must have been several thousand of each species of bird.

  Nancy Lander and Bob Bennett

  nelrjb at comcast.net



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