[Tweeters] eastern washington adventure

Megan Lyden meganlyden at msn.com
Mon Mar 23 13:38:49 PDT 2009

Hello Tweeters,

Great day of birding in Eastern Washington on Sunday. We saw four
BURROWING OWLS near the ditch at the intersection of Reynolds and Sutton,
using the lip of the ditch as a blind. We also saw two BURROWING OWLS
standing sentry at their burrow (scarily close to the busy road) on Booker,
at the intersection with Cunningham, after the sign for the farm. We saw
the owls as we were driving by. We turned around, and approached from the
opposite direction and parked and stayed in the car about 150 feet away from
the owls. We were there for about 30 seconds when a harrier approached
from behind and buzzed the owls, who both popped into their burrow. After a
minute, one of the owls popped out again; we were concerned about causing
any additional stress so we left.

Saw at least 30 TRI-COLORED BLACKBIRDS at the Para Ponds, mixed in with the
Yellow-headed, Brewer's, and Red-winged Blackbirds. Three WESTERN
SANDPIPERS were also seen. The County Line Ponds were full of Canada and
Cackling Geese, along with several hundred SANDHILL CRANES. We headed up
Lower Crab Creek Road around 4 PM where I estimate about we saw an assembly
of 2-3 thousand SANDHILL CRANES. I should have noted more precisely where
we saw them but I believe we were between Road E and Smyrna. By the time we
reached Lenice Lake, the winds had picked up, tumbleweeds were blowing, and
the birding slowed down, although there was a nice selection of waterfowl on
Lenice Lake (Horned Grebes, scaup, coots). A PRAIRIE FALCON was seen near

Stopped in at Rodeo City Barbeque, my favorite restaurant in Ellensburg,
completing a really fun day.

Megan Lyden

Bellevue, WA

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