[Tweeters] Birding eastern Washington-Wenatchee to Spokane

washingtonbirder.Knittle washingtonbirder at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 27 18:49:41 PDT 2008

On Monday Oct. 20 I stopped by to re-find the Cackling Goose at Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee. No geese were there around noon, but I did notice 1 male Eurasian Wigeon in the 100+ wigeon flock. The Cackling Goose was noted at Confluence Park in with Canada Geese. The Eurasian Wigeon was still there Sunday, Oct. 26.

Oct. 23 (Thurs.) afternoon I scouted out several places in Douglas Co. First I checked out Badger Mt. I had a male Mt. Bluebird on the west side near the top and over the east side there were small flocks of Mt. Chickadees and lower down 1 Rough-legged Hawk. Next down into Douglas Creek it was really dead with only 1 Song Sparrow near the deep puddles of water in the road. A quick stop at the south end of Jameson Lake revealed 1 Great Blue Heron and a few Ducks. Next I stopped at Stallard Lake north of St. Andrew. It was very dry. Lots of geese were flying around and feeding in the fields nearby. The last stop of the day at the sw corner of Banks Lake which is just barely in Douglas Co. produced 1 hen pheasant. All in all Douglas County is super dry with many ponds and lakes dry.

Oct. 24 Tom Mansfield and I joined up and began birding at Sprague sewer ponds which had a Ruddy Ducks and other common ducks. The boat launch area at Sprague Lake had a singing Bewick's Wren. Sprague Lake had lots of coots and common ducks, but could not pull out anything good. In Whitman Co. we stopped by at Sheep Lake, Crooked Knee Lake, and Rock Lake. Rock Lake did have Western Grebes and 1 Horned Grebe otherwise the area was pretty dead birdwise.

North of Rock Lake in Spokane Co. we found a Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk, and 1 Golden Eagle. Again we didn't find much in Turnbull NWR as we made a quick jaunt through there. At Silver Lake we noted quite a few Canada Geese, but didn't find any Cackling Geese mixed with them. We next hit West Medical Lake with a few diving ducks including Common Goldeneye and ran into Roger and Michael Woodruff. Thanks for the Barn Owl.

Little Spokane River mouth looked like great habitat, but not even the Bewick's Wrens would speak up or show themselves. We did find a great road in nw Spokane County called Prewett Rd. which had lots of potential. We saw 1 Prairie Falcon near the west end of the road near a dairy farm. Also a Northern Shrike, and 2 Great Horned Owls. It looked Good for Short-eared but we could dig any up. The next morning we checked it again just after sunrise and found a flock of Cedar Waxwings. A quick run down to Medical Lake where we had Brown Creeper, Varied Thrush, and Red Crossbills. No Cackling geese as had been reported.

In Lincoln Co. we hit Reardan Ponds. Quite a few Tundra Swans were present as well as ducks including Canvasbacks and 1 Cackling Goose. Continuing west we turned north onto Telford Rd. with Cassin's Finches singing. Seemed late for them to still be around. Also a Northern Shrike was hunting in the edge of the burn in the pines. Further north heading down towards Hawk Creek in Olsen Canyon we found a Sharp-shinned Hawk and lots of Mt. Chickadees and nuthatches and heard a couple of Nutcrackers.

After striking out on the Ross's Gull we stopped at the pond in ne Douglas Co. where Barker Rd. joins the hwy. 10 mins. showed zero and we were just leaving when 1 Dunlin flew in landed spent 15 secs. on the muddy shoreline and split heading north. We tried to follow and could not re-find the Dunlin, but did find a few Tundra Swans. We looped around on Rex Rd. and on Smith Lake Rd. we thought we saw a tight flying flock of shorebirds which proved to all be American Pipits which landed on the mud. Later back on the main road heading west to Bridgeport we saw a nice Prairie Falcon and a Golden Eagle.

Sunday we drove up to Dyer Hill looking for owls. Two Snow Buntings were along the edge of a wheat field between Armour Rd. and Central Ferry Rd. The owls all were hiding, but we did find a great spot for forest birds on the north end of Armour Rd. Lots of Mt. Chickadees, both White and Red-breasted Nuthatches, and 1 female Pine Grosbeak. a quarter mile further we were playing the I-pod for Clark's Nutcrackers when without vocalizing 2 nutcrackers came flying up the hillside straight for the I-pod and landed in the tree behind us. Guess we were invading their territory. This place needs to be explored more if any one is looking for mt. species not commonly found in Douglas Co.

Down on the lowlands we checked Bridgeport Bar and found 1 Northern Goshawk, Varied Thrushes, a Pacific Loon, Cedar Waxwings, and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. Lots of White-crowned Sparrows were trying to sound like singing Harris's Sparrows. Our last stop was up near Packwood Cemetery in Central Ferry Canyon where all 3 nuthatches, Varied Thrushes, and Mt. Chickadees were coming to Pygmy-Owl calls. With the dry conditions we had to work for our birds. It will be interesting to see what winter will bring to this area.

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