[Tweeters] Least Flycatcher continues near Centralia

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit513 at msn.com
Thu Jun 21 18:56:15 PDT 2007

Hello Tweets,

The LEAST FLYCATCHER previously found by Bill Shelmerdine on the 19th of June was again present today at the same location along Teitzel Rd. near the Centralia Steam Plant in northern Lewis Co. The bird allowed great scope and binocular views today beginning at 10am,where it remained actively sing and calling from one of two Oregon Ash trees in an open cow field. The exact location was described well by Paul Hicks in his previous Tweeters posting from yesterday as .7 miles south along Teitzel Rd.,which is accessed off of Big Hanaford Rd. This location is a few miles west of the Centralia Steam Plant,which we also managed to visit during the day. 

We watched the Least Flycatcher between 10am-11am under mostly cloudy skies,so due to these conditions and the distance to the bird obtaining superb photos was a great challenge,but we did manage the best we could. The bird during the hour observation was active not only singing and calling,but busy chasing after several Tree and Violet-green Swallows that flew in it's territory. The Least Flycatcher would chase the swallows at times out of it's area by flying to and from the small patch of Oregon Ash trees,but it would also perch briefly in a few nearby rose bushes. It was a very active bird and a times was hard to detect in the green foliage of the trees if and when it wasn't perched in the open. We could always detect the bird by it's distinctive song and call notes.  After 11am we decided to take a break and take a short drive over to the Centralia Steam Plant until 12pm,as conditions there improved slightly as the sun came out. Here, our main highlight was an adult WHITE-TAILED KITE photographed hunting over the open,overgrown fields east of the main steam plant facility along Big Hanaford Rd. It is a species we have seen at this exact location in past years,but we didn't expect to see it today and it is possible it could be part of a nesting pair breeding nearby. After the bird hunted,then perched for awhile it eventually flew off to the south over forested hillsides. A singing male LAZULI BUNTING was also noted while watching the White-tailed Kite,where it sang from brushy areas immediately east of the east most settling pond area along Big Hanaford Rd.

After returning back to the Least Flycatcher location along Teitzel Rd. at 12:15pm conditions were much darker than previously. We watched the bird for a short while until the bird became quiet and we were unable to relocate it.  It was a great bird to see and a great find for Bill Shelmerdine again for locating and reporting this bird for those interested in seeing it!  We made a short drive west to Schaefer Park along the Skookumchuck River,where we walked along a forested trail and along a portion of the river too. Here, we encountered some good bird highlights,as well as some dragonflies too. 

Our best bird highlight from Schaefer Park was a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER observed south of the woodland trail area along he edge of an open field bordering the Skookumchuck River. Here, the bird allowed great views as it actively hopped from tree to tree on both sides of the river before flying back east over the river into denser cover. This was a nice surprise considering this lowland location in this part of Lewis Co.,as well as the date. A singing RED-EYED VIREO and our only Western Wood Pewee of the day were also heard singing from this location,as well as several Black-headed Grosbeaks and Willow Flycatchers.  2 Pacific-slope"Western"Flycatchers were encountered along the woodland trail area.

Our dragonfly highlights for this location were represented by 3 River Jewelwings and 4 Pale Snaketails,of which are very local for this specific location. Other notable species encountered during the day included the following:

5 Turkey Vultures along Big Hanaford Rd. east of the Centralia Steam Plant with 3 additional birds noted nearby along Teitzel Rd.

3 Northern Harriers(1 male and 2 females)along Big Hanaford Rd. east of the Centralia Steam Plant along with 1 female Northern Harrier along Teitzel Rd.

2 Am.Kestrels along Teitzel Rd.

We have placed 4 photos of the Least Flycatcher onto our website along with one photo of the distant White-tailed Kite,which can be viewed at the following link:  http://www.pbase.com/godwit/recent_photos/

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit513 at msn.com
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