[Tweeters] Western Gull in Ferry/Stevens County

Gina Sheridan gsherida8502 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 19 15:39:39 PDT 2012


On Friday (3/16/12), Jon Isacoff and I birded through some cold/rainy weather in Steven County. Temperatures ranged from the mid-thirties to mid-forties.

Along the Westside Valley Road we noted PINE SISKIN, STELLER'S JAY, AMERICAN KESTREL, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. The Colville River Valley held the expected BALD EAGLE, RED-TAILED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, NO. SHRIKE, NO. PINTAIL, MALLARD, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDs.

On Colville Flats, we were pleased to see a large flock of gulls roosting on the near beach. However, we were periodically blasted by rain showers and blustery winds. Between showers, we managed to find some choice gulls. Amongst the large number of HERRING, CALIFORNIA, and RING-BILLED GULLS, were two THAYER'S GULL (one 1st year, and one winter adult), a first year WESTERN GULL (with good comparisons to close-by Herrings), and a first year GLAUCOUS GULL. Some LESSER SCAUP and Mallards, and Wigeon, were bobbing around on the river whitecaps.

On county list note, the Western Gull was first sighted flying over the opposite river bank (in Ferry County), and it then landed on the Stevens County side to join the roosting flock. Unfortunately, we didn't observe any of the other rare gulls crossing into Ferry County.

Fortunately, the sun finally came out and the rains ceased. Since we were hoping to score Redpoll for Ferry County, we checked out the community of West Kettle Falls that lies over the bridge. Although there were no Redpolls present, we did find PYGMY NUTHATCH, PINE SISKIN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, HOUSE FINCH, and SPOTTED TOWHEE. 

As our grand finale of the day, we saw a  single SNOW GOOSE grazing with CANADA GEESE north of Valley. This species just happened to be our primary target birds of the day, and it was a most welcome sight.

Yours in Spokane,

Gina Sheridan
Spokane, WA


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