[Tweeters] southeast Washington trip Mar. 31-Apr. 2

washingtonbirder.Knittle Knittle washingtonbirder at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 3 19:54:51 PDT 2007

Don & Carole Kohler, Anne Kahle, and myself visited the Tucannon River
mouth, Little Goose Dam, Central Ferry, Hastings Bar, Texas Rapids, Lower
Granite Dam, Alpowa Creek mouth,
Swallow's Park, Asotin, Wawawai, Savage Ponds, Fields Spring State Park,
Grande Ronde River, Grouse Flat, Peola Rd, 9-mile Canyon, and Hatch Grade in
that order.

Highlights include a Merlin in Bingen, Long-eared Owls Friday night at
Tucannon River mouth, American Tree Sparrow Tucannon River mouth,
Glaucous-winged Gull and Loggerhead Shrike at Texas Rapids below Lower
Granite Dam, 2 Rough-winged Swallows at Alpowa Creek mouth, a Cooper's Hawk
chasing a Peregrine Falcon over the Snake River at Swallow's Park in
Clarkston, 2 Ross's Geese, one at Swallow's Park and one at Chief
Lookinglass Park in Asotin, 1 Cackling Goose at Asotin, Eurasian Wigeon at
Clarkston below Costco, 1 Tundra Swan at Savage Ponds north of Anatone, 1
Savannah Sparrow north of Anatone, Cassin's Finches, 6+ Great Horned Owls
calling before dawn, Winter Wrens, Varied Thrush, Red-naped Sapsucker,
Turkeys, Ruffed Grouse drumming all night at Fields Spring State Park, one
soaring Golden Eagle and a nesting Bald Eagle pair along the Grande Ronde
River, Ruffed Grouse, Pygmy Nuthatch, Turkey Vulture on Grouse Flat, Gray
Partridge along Peola Road.

Friday night near the mouth of the Tucannon River was the nicest for
sleeping on the ground with just a breese to keep us from overheating. The
next night at Wawawai along the Snake River in southern Whitman Co. was
rainy and super strong winds which made for less birds, we noticed a Tom
Turkey across the Snake River in Garfield Co. strutting and a young bull elk
still with last years antlers on--never seen that before at this time of
year, Sunday night we spent looking for Great Gray Owls north of Fields
Spring State Park and never found them. We hit the sack again on the bare
ground with 32 degrees at dusk and woke up much colder with snow falling,
but still much better conditions than the previous night in the elements.
Grouse Flat was still in the grasp of winter with little bird life and it is
one of the best places to find Ruffed Grouse in Washington. I don't know
which subspecies of Ruffed Grouse are found there, but they are smaller and
a different shade of sandy-gray brown than other Ruffed Grouse that I've
noticed in the rest of the state. Hard to imagine the few homes where
farmers live year round. Seems like they would get snowed in for 3-4 months
every winter with only one steep impassible road out and that leads to Troy,
Oregon which is a long ways to anywhere. This area is super under birded.
Years ago I found a Hermit Warbler just above Grouse Flats in Aug. 20, 1990.
Figured it was a fall migrant way out of range. It came to a Pygmy Owl
call. If anyone else ever birds in this area both in Garfield and Asotin
Counties, I would like to hear from you and what you found there.

Today Tuesday April 3 there was a Barred Owl at Seaquest State Park.

Ken Knittle
Washington Birder newsletter
2604 NE 80th Street
Vancouver, WA 98665
mailto:washingtonbirder "at" hotmail.com

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