[Tweeters] New Year's birding in Okanogan with N. Hawkowl and WW Crossbills

Khanh Tran khanhbatran at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 1 20:26:52 PST 2016

Hi Tweets!

The magical Okanogan delivers again! We had a good day in Okanogan County, birding mostly near Brewster and the Okanogan Highlands.  It was single,digit temperatures with -7 F degrees at dusk.  Birding was generally really slow but we saw most of our target species.  Started out with a bang, ticking the previously, reported Northern Hawk Owl as our first bird for 2016! and the last bird of the day was a Northern Pygmy Owl! Oh, what fun! 

The clear, sunny cold weather and lots of snow may have suppressed the numbers of certain species. Most of the cone laden spruce trees were heavily covered with snow with fewer exposed cones. Large flocks of previously seen crossbills (both species), Common Redpolls, and American Tree Sparrows were noticeably absent.  A few weeks ago, I had flocks of 10-25 American Tree Sparrows, 50-100 Common Redpolls, 40-50 White winged Crossbills, 15-20 Red Crossbills at several locations on the same day. Generally, I find cloudy days are better for winter birding. 

Here are the highlights for today: 

Northern Hawk Owl-a beautiful bird hunting at first light along Cassimer Bar Rd
Northern Saw-Whets-Bridgeport State Park
Northern Pygmy Owl -three birds near town of Chesaw
Merlin-three birds around town of Brewster and Omak along Hwy 97
Gray Partridge-16 birds along Nealy Rd
Snow Buntings-flocks of 30-40 along Cameron Lake Rd
Common Redpolls- two birds along Nealy Rd
Pine Grosbeaks- a dozen or so birds along Mary Ann Creek Rd
Gray crowned Rosy-finch- flock of 125 birds at Nealy feeders
White winged Crossbills-a glorious, cooperative pair in good light.  They sat still for five minutes or more!
Red Crossbills-six birds along Cameron Lake Rd

Thanks to Meredith Spencer for reporting the N. Hawkowl and Dan Waggoner who originally founded the bird? 

Happy New Year and good birding to all, 

Khanh Tran 


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