[Tweeters] Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas County birding

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 19 07:25:20 PDT 2011

Hi Tweets!

Got out from Friday 10/14 through Sunday to Eastern Washington, spending most of my time on the Waterville Plateau. 75 species or so for the weekend (still trying to get some sorted out), and great weather!

A hike near Stevens Pass gave me an exciting start to the trip - I was hoping for Northern Pygmy-Owls, but had a Spotted Owl calling! This was Friday, late afternoon, and was all the birding I could do that day, which ended with a hotel stay in East Wenatchee.

Saturday morning I went to Bridgeport Bar early, and was greeted by thousands and thousands of ducks! Nothing too crazy in the mix of waterfowl (no scoters!), but in with the Canvasbacks, Redheads, both scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, American Wigeon, Mallards, Coots, Ruddy Ducks and Horned Grebes, I was able to pick out a single Bufflehead. The riparian areas and neighborhoods had all of the expected doves, Song, White-crowned and Lincoln's Sparrows, and an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Heading up Central Ferry Road, I stopped at a Ponderosa Pine area, and listened to a bird which I could only have called a Red-eyed Vireo, which would be ridiculously late! Matt Bartells got me digging through recordings for Cassin's Finches, and I think that could have been the culprit - my first time hearing their vireo-like song.

Got good and lost on the Waterville Plateau - well... not lost... I just didn't know where I was. A flock of bluebirds came through at one point, but it was otherwise mostly just raptors, including a Golden Eagle in the afternoon. Jameson and Grimes Lake had some ducks that I hadn't seen elsewhere (Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser and Western Grebe). On my way back towards Mansfield I got awesome looks at a flock of Gray Partridge sitting just off the side of the road.

Thought I had an owl in the evening, on the way to Waterville, but that's a story I'll leave in the blog.

Sunday morning, I tried the Waterville Sewage Ponds, and picked up a few more birds (Northern Shoveler, Marsh Wren and Killdeer), before heading up to Badger Mountain. During my hike here, I found Evening Grosbeak, Varied Thrush, Pygmy and Red-breasted Nuthatches, and more thrushes (still sorting out the pictures here too... everything was so gray! I think I had a Townsend's Solitaire, and am trying to sort out some bluebirds at present).

Not much else to note on the trip back, except for a Common Loon on the Columbia, and an unshy American Dipper at the Cle Elum Ponds on the way home.

With Douglas county done, I've got 39 birds in 37 of the counties this year - Just Franklin and Skamania left! Whew!

-Tim Brennan
Renton, WA

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