[Tweeters] northestern Washington

washingtonbirder.Knittle washingtonbirder at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 1 18:27:47 PDT 2008

Tom Mansfield and I birded the northeastern parts of Washington. Below are some highlights and places visited.

Sprague Lake had 100's of Bank Swallows hugging the road. There was columns of freshly hatched insects everywhere. Figured the Bank Swallows were getting ready for their flight south. There were a few Swainson's Hawks still around. The Sprague sewer pond that normally has shorebirds was dry.

Heading south in Whitman Co. along SR 23 just east of Wagner Rd. we stopped to check out a small pond when we flushed a Poorwill and it began calling in broad daylight. At Rock Lake a lone Forster's Tern was near the western part of the lake near the boat launch area where many fishermen park.

Met Michael Woodruff at Philleo Lake between classes. Good shorebirds were: Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, and Brewer's Sparrow. Thanks to Michael for gaining acess for us as this is a private Lake. Back to Turnbull NWR in the hot sun where we hiked out to Cheever Lake where we had 1 Great Egret, 23 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Baird's Sandpiper. Thanks to Jon Isacoff for letting us know about this lake. Terry Little let us know about a Eurasian Collared-Dove hanging around the Mead high school. We found 2 of them sitting along SR 206 on the light poles before flying south across the road to some trees around a farm house.

We started at the state line on the east side of the Pend Oreille River just north of Newport. Lots of Am. Redstarts, Catbirds and our only White-crowned Sparrow of the trip. Water seemed too high for shorebirds along the Pend Oreille River. A stop along Calispell Lake produced a calling Northern Pygmy-Owl which was being harassed by many nuthatches (all 3 species), Red Crossbills, Hairy Woodpecker among other species which made the Ponderosa Pines seem alive with birds. A Canvasback was out on Calispell Lake and 1 Solitary Sandpiper and Am. White Pelicans were in the channel of water leading into the ne part of the lake. Back just north of Usk along the Pend Oreille River was a flying Lewis's Woodpecker.

A lot of time was spent birding our way up to the lookout on Mt. Salmo. There were very few birds except for Juncos, Chipping Sparrows, Mt. Chickadees and 2 Clark's Nutcrackers. No Boreal Chickadees where early July we had them at 4 different places. No Boreal Owl responses either--probably better 3 weeks later.

The late afternoon we stopped at Twin Lakes and the Little Pend Oreille NWR where nothing much was moving or vocalizing.


We began our day at Colville over-looking the sewer ponds from town. A Merlin passed overhead and 2 Copper's Hawks were hanging together in one of the small trees out in the fields. An early Horned Grebe was on White Mud Lake. At Meyers Falls 2 Pectoral Sandpipers flushed and headed west towards the Colville River mouth where there was some mud flats due to low water in the Columbia River.

We next drove 7 miles up Albian Hill Rd. in Ferry Co. at U. S. Creek crossing and had 2 Spruce Grouse feeding next to a Dusky (hen) Grouse. Was nice for comparison in size and feather patterns. I had never seen these two species intermingle before. 3 weeks before along the Grande Ronde River we had observed Ruffed Grouse hanging together with Gray Partridge. Not sure why the intermingling. A quick stop at the McKnight's place where a Golden Eagle was looking for supper.

West of Nespelem along Columbia River Rd. 2 Chukar were about to cross the road when we passed by. Lots of Vesper Sparrows on the Colville Plateau along with 2 very early Sandhill Cranes. At dusk Am. White Pelicans were east of Cassimer Bar (Okanogan River mouth).


A quick walk in the natural area at Confluence State Park (Wenatchee) produced 2 Purple Finches, 1 Nashville Warbler, a late Bullock's Oriole and a Merlin. Taking Old Blewett Pass Rd. we found Townsend's Solitaires, and a (Slate-colored) Fox Sparrow. It was cold up there (in the 30's).

It is hoped that anyone going up Salmo Mt. report their findings weather few birds or good birds. And also the shorebirds passing through the mud flats south of Kettle Falls State Park just north of the mouth of the Colville River. Just looked like lots of potential and everyone passing through would like to know.
Ken KnittleVancouver WA 98665 mailto:washingtonbirder at hotmail.com Washington Birder online http://www.wabirder.com/

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