[Tweeters] Post-Thanksgiving Grant County Birding

Gina Sheridan gsherida8502 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 26 05:47:52 PST 2007


On Friday (11/23/07), Roger & Michael Woodruff,
Garrett MacDonald, and I ventured out to the Grand
Coulee area in northern Grant County. Contrary to the
weather forecast, the sun never burned through the
cloud deck, and the temps remained in the wintry range
of 19-26 degrees. Throughout the day, we kept
commenting on how cold it was, and weren't we glad
that we wore all that extra clothing!

Along Bagdad Road in northwestern Lincoln County, we
saw several SNOW BUNTINGs and plenty of HORNED LARKs.
In the Grand Coulee City Park, we noted a flock of
BOHEMIAN WAXWINGs, and four COMMON REDPOLLS that flew
over.

On a morning check of the booms of Coulee Playland,
there was a large roosting group of gulls to sort
through. A first year MEW GULL was the most
interesting bird of this lot. A bit later, the booms
of Grand Coulee Dam only offered up the expected
Herring & Ring-billed Gulls.

In Cole Park of the town of Coulee Dam (Douglas
County), we found both RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET,
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, DE JUNCO, SONG SPARROW,
COOPER'S HAWK, BC CHICKADEE, and TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE.
Since most ponds and lakes were already freezing over,
we did not drive out to Barker Canyon, to check for
the reported Bewick's Swan.

Around the Grand Coulee airport, we found some
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWs and Sun Banks Resort had a
VARIED THRUSH. Sections of the plateau above Grand
Coulee and some of the deep canyons such as Northrup,
had light snow on the ground that combined with the
hoar frost to make the landscape white. Northrup
Canyon yielded RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, PINE SISKIN, and
a VARIED THRUSH. While we dipped on our target
White-breasted Nuthatch, we did view a flock of COMMON
REDPOLLS that were enjoying Water Birch catkins.

Osborne Bay held all three merganser species in an
impressive sized flock. Farther south, we found
scattered gulls (Herring and Ring-billed)on Alkali
Lake, but no Lesser Black-backed. Lake Lenore had both
BARROW'S & COMMON GOLDENEYEs, GREATER SCAUP, HORNED
GREBE, and TUNDRA SWANs. On the East Beach access to
Soap Lake, we saw a flock of DUNLIN and KILLDEER.
Plenty of EARED GREBEs graced the northern end of Soap
Lake.

A late afternoon check of the booms of Coulee
Playground delivered a more interesting mix of gulls
than what we had in the morning. Gull luminaries
included two first year GLAUCOUS GULLs and an adult
THAYER'S GULL.

We ended the short daylight hours by working the
entrance to Steamboat Rock State Park. Although we
found AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, we dipped on our target
Short-eared Owl. However, we did flush a couple of
LONG-EARED OWLs out of their traditional roost.

Even though the weather was cold and gray, we still
managed to see some nice birds and of course we
enjoyed the good company.

Gina Sheridan
Spokane, WA


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