[Tweeters] Skamania County Takhlahk and Horseshoe Lakes

gorgebirds at juno.com gorgebirds at juno.com
Mon Oct 27 21:34:58 PDT 2008


My wife, Susan, and I made a trip to the northern reaches of
Skamania County today figuring that this area will soon be difficult to
access with the coming of winter. It was a gorgeous sunny day with
fabulous fall colors and mild temperatures. When we arrived there at
about 9 AM it was 35 degrees but soon warmed to the mid-50's, there was
about a half of an inch of hard packed snow on the road between Taklahk
Lake and Horseshoe Lake that melted away while we were there. We found
very little at Takhlahk with the only bird on the water being a single
PIED-BILLED GREBE. We drove on to Horseshoe Lake where we were treated to
a male SPRUCE GROUSE about halfway between the main road and the lake.
After observing it for several minutes I attempted to take a photo of it
using my pocket -sized Olympus UZ 765 with it's 10x zoom. The bird
allowed me to walk within twenty feet of it and continued gathering grit
during the entire time, when we did leave it only moved off of the road
and let us drive past it. At Horseshoe Lake there was one PINE GROSBEAK
in the campground that stayed long enough for me to set the scope up on
it.
After leaving this lovely mountain lake we continued on to the
Killien Horse Camp where we had MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, WESTERN BLUEBIRD and
a RED CROSSBILL that came in to my pishing. As we headed back towards
Takhlahk Lake we stopped near the Divide Camp Trailhead after I spotted a
tree that looked like it may have been worked over by a three-toed
woodpecker. Almost immediately after getting out of the vehicle we could
hear tapping come from the woods near the road, we soon located a female
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER low in the trees. A stop at Takh Takh Meadows and
a short walk along the snowy trail at the base of the lava flow took us
to a stand of spruce along side of the meadows where we could hear
another woodpecker tapping. This bird turned out to be a male AMERICAN
THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, a life bird for Susan.
Nearby Ollalie Lake had a flock of RING-NECKED DUCKS but no
scoters or loons as we had last year when Ken Knittle and Anne Kahle and
I birded here. The surprise here was a very late OSPREY fishing the
frigid waters. Heading back to Trout Lake we made a check of Council Lake
which was birdless.
Along the Columbia River, at the mouth of the Little White Salmon
River there were three BARROW'S GOLDENEYE near the fish hatchery and a
stop at Rock Creek Cove Park in Stevenson produced two GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.

Wilson Cady
Washougal, WA
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