[Tweeters] Eastern Washington weekend (long)

Tim O'Brien kertim7179 at yahoo.com
Mon May 24 20:47:27 PDT 2010

Hi all,

This past weekend, I headed out from Spokane to explore some parts of Chelan county. I visited some areas on the way to and back as well in Douglas, Grant, Adams, and Lincoln counties. It was a little windy on both days, but overall it was nice weather despite very cold mornings.

My first stop on Saturday was Atkins Lake (Douglas). Jon Isacoff and I noted this spot earlier in the year as a good possibility for shorebirds and it didn't disappoint. Working the mud around the water were the following shorebirds: AMERICAN AVOCET (2), BLACK-NECKED STILT (4), KILLDEER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, and a single WESTERN SANDPIPER. I heard a single SORA calling from the marshy grass as well. All three Teal were present as well.

I made a quick on the steep grade that descends down from Waterville to Orondo. I quickly heard and the spotted two singing LAZULI BUNTINGS and a WESTERN KINGBIRD.

My next stop was at Wenatchee Confluence State Park and the Horan Natural Area. A rewarding walk yielded quite a few birds with some of the more notable being EASTERN KINGBIRD, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, HOUSE WREN, GRAY CATBIRD, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, WESTERN TANAGER, BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, and EVENING GROSBEAK. Either the Evenings were on the move or they just were everywhere in Chelan county this day. I had them at almost every stop!

I then headed up to Entiat and up the valley. I stopped at the mouth of the Entiat River where more Evening Grosbeaks were seen and Western Tanagers. A stop at the Entiat River Fish Hatchery was well worth it. I had an outstanding view of a female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD on its nest. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER was testing the raging waters. A PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER called from somewhere in trees along the river trail and two STELLER'S JAYS put in an appearance, too. The water was loud and it was difficult to hear.

Making my way up the Entiat River valley to the Silver Falls Campground, I made a few stops in between and found DUSKY FLYCATCHER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, and LAZULI BUNTING. At Silver Falls Campground, I had singing TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS up high with YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and a single WILSON'S WARBLER singing from the forest.

Back down the valley to Mud Creek Road, I then headed up and over to Lake Chelan. On the way up Mud Creek Road, I had many productive stops that included WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, WARBLING VIREO, CASSIN'S VIREO, ROCK WREN, VEERY, MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, and PINE SISKIN. At the top of Mud Creek, I found RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER and DOWNY WOODPECKER. I also noted a very deep mud puddle that may prove challenging for low clearance vehicles when you start to head down towards the lake. I'm sure you can float across if you wanted to try!

I made a quick stop at some nice looking cliffs along Navaree Coulee Road and was rewarded with a CANYON WREN that responded to tape.

I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening at Lake Chelan State Park. The park rangers were quite helpful when they found out I was a birder. They even showed me a hole in the side of one of their maintenance buildings that was excavated by a White-headed Woodpecker recently. More Evening Grosbreaks were here. Also, here were TURKEY VULTURE, VAUX'S SWIFT, STELLER'S JAY, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, AMERICAN DIPPER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and CASSIN'S FINCH. I was in my tent when I heard the call of the WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER, but I was unable to spot it in the park while I was there.

On Sunday, I woke early and made my way up Chelan Butte. It was just getting light as I neared the top. I stopped in a couple spots on the way up in the dark and was glad that I did because I heard COMMON POORWILL calling from above. After sunrise, I picked up HORNED LARK, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, CHIPPING SPARROW, and VESPER SPARROW.

I then said goodbye to Chelan County and headed southeast into Grant county. I stopped at the Winchester Lake Wildlife Area, the Audubon Dodson Road Nature Trail, Frenchman Hills Road ponds, and Potholes State Park. These stops had some nice birds including GREAT EGRET, VIRGINIA RAIL, BLACK-NECKED STILT, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, CASPIAN TERN, and a host of others.

I was about tuckered out and made a last stop at Sprague Lake in both Adams and Lincoln counties. Most notable were several BLACK TERNS and a couple COMMON NIGHTHAWKS on the Adams side of the lake. At least two CASPIAN TERNS were flying near the island were all the gulls nest, too.

Good birding!

Tim O'Brien
Cheney, WA
mailto: kertim7179 at yahoo dot com

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