[Tweeters] Lincoln County WW Scoter & WH Woodpecker

Gina Sheridan gsherida8502 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 11 16:28:44 PST 2009

On a crisp sunny Tuesday (11/10/09), Jon Isacoff, Sarah del la Rue and I ventured out into the canyons of northern Lincoln County. En route, we noted a flock of TUNDRA SWANs (sans Trumpeter Swans) and a BONAPARTE'S GULL at Reardan and, and we several ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and a GOLDEN EAGLE on the West Plains.

While trying to find Jon's Pileated Woodpecker in Indian Canyon, we saw PINE SISKIN, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, DE JUNCO, WINTER WREN, and a lovely first year GOLDEN EAGLE. Although we dipped on the Pileated, we felt that we had a decent start.

Since Mill Canyon has produced some startling county rarities this season, we decided to diligently work it. Along the ridgelines, we observed a NORTHERN GOSHAWK quartering the slopes. Meanwhile, a couple of scolding BEWICK'S WRENs popped out of the riparian thicket. Flocks of PYGMY & RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHes, and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEEs responded to our Pygmy Owl calls.

At the mouth of Mill Creek, we scanned through the scattered waterfowl and noted BUFFLEHEAD (the predominant species here), LESSER SCAUP, PIED-BILLED GREBE, WESTERN GREBE -2, MALLARD, and AMERICAN COOT. From the high vista on the turn out, we were ecstatic to see a first year WHITE-WINGED SCOTER along the near shoreline. The WW Scoter was a much needed county lifer for me and an ABA lifer for Sarah.

As we scoped through the waterfowl, a couple of CLARK'S NUTCRACKERs came in for a little visit, and a GOLDEN EAGLE cruised by us. A DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NO. FLICKER, MT. CHICKADEE, WILD TURKEYs, and a heard only WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH joined the party too.

Feeling the flush of success, we retraced our canyon route to look for our target woodpeckers. On the lower, wooded flats of the canyon, we tried to pull in a Pileated or White-Headed Woodpecker. Miraculously, a beautiful male WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER eventually flew into a tall cottonwood and let us is gawk it for over five minutes. Wow! that is one fantastic bird for Lincoln County! Once again, the WH Woodpecker was a county lifer for me and an ABA lifer for Sarah.

In the upper reaches of Mill Canyon, we saw a flock of six GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCHEs fly overhead. Seeing the rosy finches was a great way to finish off our wonderful birding day!

Gina Sheridan
Spokane, WA

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