[Tweeters] RE: [inland-NW-birders] Washtucna WW Crossbills & B Waxwings

Randy Hill hill at smwireless.net
Mon Jan 19 18:32:10 PST 2009

Just got home and found a Merlin sitting on a pole near our backyard in
residential Othello.

Elaine and I decided to finish off some shopping in the Tri-Cities via Lyons
Ferry (not a direct route), hoping to find the White-winged Crossbills
reported Friday by Michael Hobbs' group. Didn't make it. We stopped in
Washtucna and found a feeder that actually had food in it. There were a few
finches and juncos (and lots of House Sparrows) up and down. The feeder's
supplier came out to join us and advised us that he had jays in the yard
yesterday. I quizzed him about species as Elaine grabbed a book. Based on
his description I showed him Bohemian Waxwing, but he said they weren't that
colorful, but they also weren't either species of jay. While talking I
noticed movement in the spruce tree and saw the big white wing-bars of a
female White-winged Crossbill, which immediately flew off before I could get
my binoculars into his hands. Eventually we found the flock of four
crossbills that included at least a male and a female WWCR. I did not get
looks at the other two to know if they were RECR or WWCR. These were west
of the highway through town moving between the grain elevators and Bassett
Park, and the birds were quite flighty from one spruce tree to another. We
crossed to the east side of town up the hill and searched around the school
where lots of robins were feasting on small fruit. Eventually we found 8
Bohemian Waxwings nearby. Varied Thrush, Spotted Towhee, Mourning and
Eurasian-collared Dove, and Wild Turkey were in or near Bassett Park.

Since we spent more time in Washtucna than planned, we skipped Lyons Ferry
for a shorter route to Pasco, via Windust Park. Lower Monumental Dam had
Herring, California and Glaucous-winged Gulls and a Western Grebe. Windust
added only Great Horned Owl. A Prairie Falcon was along the Kahlotus-Pasco

Catching up a bit from Friday, Ron Friesz and I headed east from Ephrata on
SR 28 to Harrington, Reardan and Davenport and back US 2 to Hartline, and
down to Wilson Creek. Fogged out at the Sunset Hwy and much of US 2 but
under the ceiling for most of the rest. Notable were a Golden Eagle near
Wilson Creek, several N Shrikes, 2 Merlins, a T Solitaire, a few small
groups of B Waxwings and one or more large flocks in Davenport, a few Gray
Partridge south of Hartline, and 2 Snow Buntings on the road into the
Davenport Cemetery (plus a single south of Harrington). Lots of
Rough-legged Hawks too. Davenport had quite a bit of damage from broken
snow/frost-laden tree limbs, and there was devastation to many of the
conifers at the cemetery. I hope they don't get carried away with tree
removal during cleanup.

Randy Hill


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