[Tweeters] (no subject)

Gina Sheridan gsherida8502 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 5 23:22:26 PDT 2008

Terry Little, Jon Isacoff, and I ventured up to the extreme northeastern corner of the state on Thursday (9/04/08), and had some decent success with high altitude specialties. Most of our birding efforts were concentrated on Salmo Mountain. Bright sunshine and fall-like temps (mid-30's at Salmo and near 70 along the P.O. River) made our montane experience pleasant enough.

After dawn broke, birding was slow in the shady, cold, closed canopy forest. CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEEs and a few PINE SISKIN were a couple of things that we picked up above Sullivan Lake. Sullivan Lake itself held a flock of MALLARDs, COMMON MERGANSER, and a lingering RED-NECKED GREBE.

Near Salmo Pass, we found a couple of BOREAL CHICKADEEs, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, Red-tailed Chipmunk, Columbian Ground Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Mule Deer, and a FOX SPARROW. Along the narrow road up to the summit of Salmo Mountain, we ran into at least seven more BOREAL CHICKADEEs, and some nice mixed flocks of birds that included PINE GROSBEAK, DE JUNCO, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, CLARK'S NUTCRACKER, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. Of course, our views from the summit of Salmo itself were indeed spectacular!

A bit later, we had a flock of nineteen ARCTIC RACE - HORNED LARKs traveling along the ridgeline, and a flyover AMERICAN PIPIT. In the fall, arctic and high altitude species seem to favor migrating along the ridgelines of the Selkirk Mountains. In the past, I have seen Rosy Finches, Snow Buntings, Merlin, Bohemian Waxwings, etc. utilizing these mountain ridgelines as migration corridors.

On our descent off Salmo, we picked up a couple of SHARP-SHINNED HAWKs, HERMIT THRUSH, CASSIN'S VIREO, and STELLER'S JAY. Traveling southward along the Pend Oreille River, we saw are only COOPER'S HAWK of the day. On the river's edge portion of Flying Goose Ranch, we found some good mudflats. Present here were GREATER YELLOWLEGS - 2, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, OSPREY, GREAT BLUE HERON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and AMERICAN WIGEON. In the distance we pulled out a SNOW GOOSE within a large concentration of CANADA GEESE. Finally, the Reservation Marsh held a WILSON'S SNIPE , and a AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN graced the opposite shore.

Unfortunately, we did not see any White-winged Crossbills or grouse on Salmo. Apparently, no one has observed any WW Crossbills on Salmo for over a couple of weeks.

With regards to the cone crop, I would say that there was an ample supply of Englemann Spruce cones, and a lesser number of Douglas Fir cones. Subalpine Fir cones appeared to be few and far between.

Gina Sheridan
Spokane, WA

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