[Tweeters] Spokane County Harlequin Ducks and more

Terry Little terry at crossoverchurch.info
Fri May 8 20:41:31 PDT 2009

Hello Everyone,,

Early this morning when I pulled away from the house, I had a sense that it was going to be a blessed day. And indeed it was. It began when I noticed two BLACK NECKED STILTS in wet area right along I-90 just east of the Four Lakes exit. But the best bird of the day came soon afterward.

Sitting on a rock in Grantie Lake only about 50 feet from the roadway (Silver Lake Rd) were a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS, a county lifer for me. The male was decked out. Why are rare birds so much more beautiful when you see them close to home? What a treat! Other birds on Granite Lake included both Eared and Horned Grebes and other expected waterfowl.

Other birds in the Medical Lake Complex: More Eared and Horned Grebes and one Red Necked Grebe, Common Loon. Yellow Warblers were consicous. Nearby Espanola produced Brewer's and Vesper Sparrows, and a Townsend's Solitaire.

In a pond along Hwy 2 just west of Espanola Rd, there was a GREAT EGRET and a Wilson's Phalarope. A Bald Eagle sat in a nearby field.

Entering into Lincoln county, the birding continued to be good. In Reardan, I found four species of warblers; Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Yellow Rumped, and Orange Crowned. Reardan Audubon Lake yielded 6 Black necked Stilts, 1 Wilson's Phalarope, N Harrier. Soras and Virginia Rails called from all over the marsh. A few were seen. Am Pipits flew overhead.

Wet Area along Hwy 231 - just south of hwy 2 - west of Reardan: Sora, Wilson's Phalarope, more pipits, and a FERRUGINOUS HAWK. (They ought to be in Spokane County).

One of my favorite roads to bird is Old Kuch's Rd south of Davenport. It was alive again today. Vesper, Savannah, Song, White Crowned, and Brewer's Sparrows were easy to find as were tthe singing Sage Thrashers, Say's Pheobes, and Western Kingbirds. Swainson's Hawks wheeled overhead. But the real fun was at the vernal pond on the far west end of Old Kuch's: 11 SPECIES OF SHOREBIRDS kept me busy for a while. 10 species sat upon and fed around a small rock outcroppiing not too far from the road, providing excellent views through my scope: Greater Yellowlegs (4), Lesser Yellowlegs (10), Killdeer (4), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, {alternate plumaged} BLACK BELLIED PLOVER, Least Sandpipers (15), Baird's Sandpipers (2), Western Sandpipers (2), Long Billed Dowitchers (17), Black Necked Stilts (6). Also a LONG BILLED CURLEW made an appearance on the opposite side of the road. By the way, this is the same road where I saw Snowy Owls, Snow Buntings, and White Winged Crossbills back in January.

Davenport Cemetery was moderately good for all the cutting and trimming going on: Western Tanager, Gray Flycatcher, Hermit Thrushes, House and Winter Wrens, Red Crossbills, and Cassin's Finches were the best birds found.

On to Sprague Lake. The Lincoln side of Sprague Lake was pretty slow (calling Soras from the marsh). The Adams side had Western, RED NECKED (7), Eared, and Horned Grebes, a lingering Ross's Goose, Swainson's Hawk, 3 FRANKLIN'S GULLS, and 4 Bonaparte Gulls.

The STP at Sprague and the surrounding wetland yielded another GREAT EGRET, more Wilson's Phalarope, and 25 American Avocets.

On my way home, back in Spokane County, I found Gray Flycatchers and White Thr Swifts along Inland Rd near the ORV park.

A blessed day. Others have been out to see the Harlequins. That is the best part of it all.

Terry Little
Mead, Wa

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