[Tweeters] Eastern WA long weekend

mattxyz at earthlink.net mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 15 06:00:13 PST 2010

Hi all -
I spent an enjoyable four days birding around eastern WA this
weekend, with the weather mostly cooperating along the way.

A couple highlights:

Thursday [11/11]
Benton Co., Richland, Johnson Park -- a Pacific Wren & a Merlin were
the highlights, but plenty of other birds around including many Cedar
Waxwings that I kept hoping would turn Bohemian while I watched.

Walla Walla Co., Wallula, mouth of the Walla Walla - Pacific Loon [I
had one, Terry Little found two earlier - thanks Terry!], Common
Loon, Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitcher.

Walla Walla Co., Two Rivers HMU - Eurasian Wigeon, Tundra Swans ,
and a White-throated Sparrow were the highlights

Friday [11/12]
Columbia Co. - Snake River/Little Goose Dam Rd - the number of ducks
is way down compared with a couple weeks ago when more was moving
through, but some remained:

Barrow's Goldeneye - group of 6 started on the Whitman side, and
eventually flushed over to Columbia Co.
Cackling & Canada Geese - one mixed flock of about 20. [also on both
sides of the river over the course of the day]

Hooded Merganser - a group of five at the pond just beyond the dam.

A little after mp 6 on Little Goose Dam Rd., a Barn Owl flushed from
the cliffs and moved into a new hole where only its legs were visible.

At Little Goose Landing, 2 (at least) American Tree Sparrows were a
pleasant surprise. The Northern Shrike that has been present at this
park for a couple weeks made a few passes at them while I watched, so
they may be attracting interest from more than just birders....

On Riveria Rd., 2 or 3 Rough-legged Hawks were back on over the fields.

And at the corner of Riveria & SR 261, a Prairie Falcon was hunting
from the power poles. [thanks, Terry!]

To end the day, I waited before dusk back under the cliffs on Little
Goose Dam rd and was eventually rewarded with Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
-- a flock of ~15 stayed close to the top of the cliffs at about mp
6.5-6.7, from about 3:30 - 4:15 as I watched.

Saturday [11/13]
Overall , a pretty slow day, birding mostly in Whitman Co. The big
highlight was up on Steptoe Butte, where the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
again cooperated -- a couple flocks worked the roadside from the
quarry on upwards. I tried for a couple hours to relocate the Blue
Jay found earlier this week lower down around the picnic area. Terry
Gray's group was present just before me and they saw the jay a couple
times -- I ended up getting to know the lower part of Steptoe well,
enjoyed looks at a couple Porcupines, but never did see or hear the
Blue Jay.

Sunday [11/14]
Benton Co - Short-eared Owl - at dawn working the roadsides. south
of Benton City, around the intersection of Travis & Cemetery Rd. -

Crow Butte Park - The Jays reported by Michael Hobbs & Mark Crawford
eventually all appeared today - 3 Steller's Jay, 1 Western Scrub-Jay
& 1 Blue Jay - nice! The Steller's were occasionally vocal, and were
at the far end of the campground area. The Scrub-Jay remained silent,
and the Blue Jay only occasionally gave a weak call --
Also present: Purple Finch - a flock of ~10; Great Horned Owl;
Sharp-shinned Hawk; Cooper's Hawk.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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