[Tweeters] Douglas Co bad news/good news

Jesse Ellis calocitta8 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 22:49:37 PST 2009


Hey Tweeters-

Bad news first. The NORTHERN HAWK OWL at Rd 15 and Rd B farmhouse is
dead. Anya Illes and I found the bird dead in the driveway of the
farm, right near the main road, at about 3:30pm PDT. Everything
pointed to a car strike (not us). I speculate the bird had targeted
prey near the road and was caught by someone going fast over the
rise. While we have both seen hawk owls before, we were deeply
disappointed by the demise of this bird. When a single individual
becomes well known, and somehow, when mortality is known (and the
cause known to be related to human activity), it's a bit more
personal. This individual had made it for months at this location,
and as I understand it showed every sign of making it whole through
the winter. It didn't. It can't make anyone's life list, can't make
anyone's state or county list, or anyone's day. It can't go back
north to terrify the rodents, or raise more hawk-owls. We will donate
it to the Burke Museum, where it will make a valuable specimen of a
Washington hawk-owl for the collection. But that doesn't do it
justice, does it?

Please. Don't drive too fast.

Good news. The YELLOW-BILLED LOON found near Chief Joseph Dam is
still there. We first found it from the Murphy Rd boat launch area
(beware a common loon near there as well). It was straight out from
the launch, about halfway between the launch and the distant swimming
area of Bridgeport State Park across the river and north. From what I
can gather, this means it was quite a bit further upstream from where
it had been seen previously.

Other great birds today:
BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS - about 200 at Bridgeport State Park, and a few
handfuls along Grange Rd at Moe Rd.
2 Say's Phoebe's
Many (20+) Violet-Green Swallows over the lake above the dam.
Canyon Wren - I know they're residents, but we were happy to find a
male singing at Bridgeport State Park.
2 Golden Eagles
8 Rough-legged Hawks, including a nearly white-headed individual.

On the way out, we stopped at the fish hatchery on Icicle Rd in
Leavenworth, where we found both 2 DIPPER and 1 WHITE-HEADED
WOODPECKER. Looked like they were gearing up for a skiing or
snomobiling event, though, so we left pretty quickly.

A mixed day. We really enjoyed seeing the loon, and the Bohemian
Waxwings were a lifer for Anya. Then in the afternoon we found the
owl, which put a dumper (that and snow in the pass) on the day.


Jesse Ellis
Seattle
--
Jesse Ellis, Ph. D.
Seattle, WA


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