[Tweeters] WOS Winter Trip to Okanogan Highlands and Waterville Plateau 2/13-2/15 - Porcupine Bonanza!

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 12:17:49 PST 2016


Hi Tweets!

18 of us enjoyed a very nice President's Day weekend on the east side with
temperatures in the 30's degrees Fahrenheit and mostly cloudy skies. With
a forecast of rain, and foggy conditions on the Waterville Plateau Friday,
weather was a major concern but worked out okay. Yakima Audubon, and some
west side birders, were also birding over the weekend and this was very
helpful for communicating sightings.

On Friday we went to the highlands. We heard AMERICAN THREE-TOED
WOODPECKER in the Sno-Park. Had great looks of RUFFED GROUSE and
GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH at the Nealy Road feeders. Picked up COMMON
REDPOLL in Chesaw and Mary Ann Creek Road. Spotted GRAY PARTRIDGE along
Chesaw Road, and observed 3 NORTHERN PYGMY OWLS along our way. And saw
Porcupines.

On Saturday we went to Conconully, Cameron Lake Road, Bridgeport/Brewster.
We had spectacular views of PINE GROSBEAKS, and quick views of PRAIRIE
FALCON and NORTHERN GOSHAWK in Conconully. Good views of SNOW BUNTING and
a GYRFALCON on Timentwa Road at the cattle farm. There were 5 NORTHERN
SAW-WHET OWLS in BSP. And saw Porcupines.

On Monday we birded the plateau. We hit the mother load and observed 20
SHARP-TAILED GROUSE at Wells Wildlife Sanctuary on Bridgeport Hill with a
bonus flush/fly through GREATER SAGE GROUSE. Two SNOWY OWLS off H Road
between 15 and 17, east of Mansfield and north of SR 172. We scoped
through a few hundred HORNED LARK, but could not find a Lapland. And saw
Porcupines.

All in all, a fantastic trip with really talented and ethically conscious
and responsible birders. I'd like to thank all the birders who joined this
fun trip for a great time. All the other wonderful birders in the area at
the same time who shared their knowledge and expertise and sightings
(including Ms. Spencer). As per usual, we delivered bags of seed to our
wonderful feeder homes who help make this trip so special. And finally,
FANTER LANE, who has been super fabulous smart inquisitive motivated
co-leader for the last three years and will be MISSED next year as he
starts his college studies. Thank you Fanter!

91 species seen with highlights being the GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH, PINE
GROSBEAKS, GYRFALCON, SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, GREATER SAGE GROUSE, SNOWY OWL,
and Porcupines.

Full report will be published in WOSNewsletter, don't email me with
questions about the details, you'll have to read it in WOS!

Don't forget, *WOS 2016 Conference in Walla Walla Thursday June 2nd-Monday
June 6th*. Information to be published soon in WOSNewsletter and *Registration
will start Saturday March 5th at 12:00pm noon.*

Happy birding,
Shep

--
Shep Thorp
Browns Point
253-370-3742

Photos: https://flic.kr/p/DeooAs; https://flic.kr/p/E1FjDd;
https://flic.kr/p/DeHZNT; https://flic.kr/p/E1Fzg9; https://flic.kr/p/DCCssK
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