[Tweeters] Skamania County Monday Feb. 18

washingtonbirder.Knittle washingtonbirder at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 19 18:37:01 PST 2008

Guy McWethy, Bob Stallcop, and I drove before dawn on Monday Feb. 18 to Underwood and we birded our way west to have the sun behind our backs most of the time. Underwood was nice birding without the wind and the temp. just below freezing. The sun did have some warmth to it as we enjoyed finding California Quail, Downy Woodpecker, Varied Thrush, lots of both Western Scrub and Steller's Jays, Golden-crowned Sparrows, and a flock of Evening Grosbeaks flying overhead. Underwood might be the best town in Skamania County to find vagrants, if one just had feeders and dripping water year-round.

After birding Underwood we dropped down to the Columbia River and birded Spring Creek Fish Hatchery area. We were surprised to see 1 lone female Purple Finch. Seems like they are usually in small flocks during the winter and one would expect them more commonly further west. Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet were feeding in the trees there also.

As we headed west the wind began to blow like it can in the gorge. Drano Lake had a very brown Common Loon and back in near the fish hatchery were Common Goldeneyes. We looked for Dipper and Kingfishers up-stream from the hatchery, but failed to find either one all day. Our best bird of the day was just east of Home Valley when we stopped to scan the large scaup flock when 1 lone Horned Lark jumped up onto the outer rail of the railroad close to us and then seeing us it flew off heading east. Horned Larks aren't that easy to find in Skamania Co.

Wind River mouth produced Killdeer, both Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds, and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Our next destination was the park west of Stevenson. The usual White-fronted Geese were not there this time. However there were lots of waterfowl and coots to sort through.

Bonneville Dam and Hamilton Island were fairly dead. No fish were being released so no gulls. One lone Kestrel was having a tough time hovering in the gale force winds. A quick swing through Skamania Landing and a brief stop at Franz Lake NWR for Canvasbacks ended our Skamania County birding for the day with 54 species.

With no wind and some owling and all day to bird this county makes one wonder just how many birds one could find in a day.

Sunday Feb. 17 I had 1 Rufous Hummingbird stop by our feeder and was dive-bombed 3 times by an angry Anna's. Never saw it re-appear. Watch for it. It might be stopping at your feeder next.

Ken KnittleVancouver WA 98665 mailto:washingtonbirder at hotmail.com Washington Birder online http://www.wabirder.com/
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