[Tweeters] Sprague Lake, Ritzville birds seen recently

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 21 14:00:22 PDT 2010


En route to points east of the state, noted a FERRUGINOUS HAWK just north of I-90 at the eastmost exit for
Ritzville back on August 11. The bird had just failed in an attempt to collect a prey item in grassy habitat
close to the eastbound on-ramp to I-90 where I viewed it. In town, I had three EUR. COLLARED-DOVES.

Then on return yesterday, August 20, birded Sprague Lake early as the boys attempted shore fishery.
Nothing rare but the following were observed along southside accesses:

Good waterfowl count and ducks, including three Aythya sp.
Solitary Sandpiper 2 along with other shorebirds
White Pelican 20+
Empidonax sp 1 (possibly Least)
both kingbirds
Bewick's Wren 1 (are they regular here?)
House Wren 2
Pacific Wren 1 (early for migrant)
Gray Catbird 1
Yellow-br. Chat 1
7 sparrow species s.w. of lake along road back to Tokio Weigh station, including
one Sage and three Grasshoppers
Bullock's Oriole 2
Bobolink 1

The most impressive migratory event, however, was a massive swallow flock near the southwest corner of the lake;
about 600 swallows swirled close to the road, and perhaps half landing right on the road. About 450 of these were
BANK SWALLOWS, a very high concentration. Most of these were birds of the year and not real eager to yield to
oncoming vehicles; two had been hit and killed earlier.

Gray Catbirds and E. Kingbirds were more common than expected at various sites in n. ID, MT, WY and w. SD earlier.
Oppositely, W. Kingbird and Red-winged Blackbird were surprisingly few--and most were seen in eastern WA.

Also, just east of Ritzville, a dead BADGER was seen right along westbound I-90.

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens, WA
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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