[Tweeters] Birding from Manson to Mansfield, March 13-14 (late report)

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sun Mar 22 11:15:15 PDT 2009


Birders,

On March 13 & 14, I spent all day birding in Chelan County, northern Douglas
County, and a bit of southern Okanogan County. A few birds of note were seen
in addition to those already known to be in the area. Highlights were:

YELLOW-BILLED LOON-- the immature at the Murphy Road boat launch above the
Chief Joseph Dam was spotted within seconds of my arrival on March 14, and
eventually came very close. It was several hundred yards away when first
spotted, but then came swimming almost straight toward me-- so close that it
inadvertently scared off a mixed flock of COOTS, RING-NECKED DUCKS,
BUFFLEHEADS, etc. that were feeding close to the boat launch. I got some
good photos.

RED-NECKED GREBE-- One on Columbia R. about 4 miles N of Entiat (Mar. 13)--
probably scarce in winter in this area.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE-- 3 birds seen in the middle of a small grazing
flock of CANADA GEESE right in Lakeshore Park in the city of Chelan (Mar
13)-- the first time I glanced at the flock, I overlooked the White-fronts!

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE-- 18 seen in Mansfield (Mar 14), which must be the
Washington hot spot for this species.

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER-- One female along the south shore of Lake Chelan (Mar
13) in the Minneapolis Beach area-- about a mile west of where Highway 97A
reaches the lakeshore. It was so close to shore that I got several good
photos. There were no other waterbirds in the area (deep water) except for a
few COMMON GOLDENEYES and some small flocks of HORNED GREBES.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW-- A flock of 105 actively feeding and resting on wires
in the community of Lakeside (Mar 13), just W of Chelan. Other than singles
and a small group of 4 near Manson, these were the only swallows I saw.

CEDAR WAXWING-- A flock of about 6 in trees on Moe Road just S of Grange
Road in the Bridgeport Bar area (Mar 14). Ironically, I couldn't find any
Bohemians even though I still need them for my Douglas & Chelan County
lists!

HARRIS'S SPARROW-- The immature was still present with a flock of about 50
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS at the corner or Grange & Moe Roads NW of Bridgeport
(Mar 14), although it hadn't been reported for a month. I saw it 3 times,
twice quite briefly as the sparrows surged from shrubbery into nearby weeds,
and the third time for about a minute before it disappeared in the weeds
again.

RED CROSSBILL-- Flock of at least 20 in the pines on Central Ferry Canyon
Road S of Brewster (Mar 14), where others have reported them recently.

On March 14, near Mansfield, I bumped into Meredith Spencer and husband
Dave, and tagged along with them for awhile as we unsuccessfully looked for
a SNOWY OWL. One of these days, I will find one in eastern WA.

Snow was pretty much gone from the valley bottoms, but there was still a
foot or so on much of the Waterville Plateau. Spring migrants were scarce.
Other than the VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, I saw only about 6 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS
in total, 3 SAY'S PHOEBES in scattered locations, and absolutely no MOUNTAIN
BLUEBIRDS! Hopefully, things have improved by now.

I ran out of time to bird the Okanogan Highlands-- I might still have time
in the next few days. However, the trip was still a success for me as I
added 3 species to my Douglas County list and 10 (!) to my Chelan County
list. Too bad I was too late for the N. HAWK-OWL!

Good luck and good birding,

Wayne C. Weber
Delta, BC
contopus at telus.net











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