[Tweeters] Okanogan/Douglas County Bird Report with Updated PHOTOS (Longish)

AnnMarie Wood amw.5737 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 22:01:04 PDT 2016

Khanh, I love the joy, energy, and enthusiasm you bring to finding,
photographing, and sharing the birds we all want to see. No doubt, you are
a gifted birder but you are a successful guide because of the long, hard
hours you invest. Thank you!

On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 8:09 PM, Tom Mansfield <birds at t-mansfield.com>

> Bravo, Khanh - you are an inspiration for me and many. I am lucky to know

> first hand your special karma with special birds but what most people don't

> realize is your devoted commitment to find the birds you know are "in the

> neighborhood." Many birders just pass through, expecting (or hoping) their

> target will pop up just where you or someone else had it. We all know

> that's unrealistic, usually. Sometimes the bird is where it is "supposed"

> to be and that's a fortunate outcome. But many times, it takes an

> investment in time and effort to realize the goal. Your posts are always

> so positive and inspiring and offered with goodwill. That anyone would

> have "accused me of being greedy and not willing to share information" is

> unfortunate and uninformed. Keep your karma cooking and share your great

> fortune - it is inspirational for the rest of us.


> Tom Mansfield in Seattle (wishing I was chasing something great

> elsewhere...)



> -----Original Message-----

> From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:

> tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Khanh Tran

> Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:26 PM

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Cc: Khanh Tran

> Subject: [Tweeters] Okanogan/Douglas County Bird Report with Updated

> PHOTOS (Longish)


> Hi Tweeters:


> Mid-March can be an interesting and fun time to bird in the Okanogan

> Highlands and Waterville Plateau. I am always curious what the wintering

> species do during this period. It can be an ideal time to see large flocks

> of certain species, and some, in their breeding plumages. The weather was

> not great this past weekend with mixed rain, snow and wind. After the

> storms, there was a brief period of calmness and the birds were out in full

> force.


> I normally don't use the word 'epic' and have seen great birds and had

> some amazing encounters over the years up there! However, this weekend was

> very special. I got to show, two up-and-coming, young birders (Walker Noe

> and his brother Dalton), my favorite birding haunts. I got choked up

> watching their reactions when they saw their lifer GREAT GRAY OWL. The

> regal bird was in perfect light and down low.


> It was also Judy's 70th Birthday. This is the gracious lady and host who

> maintains the Nealey Feeders near Chesaw for the last 10 years. Since I

> have known her, she is more engaged and interested in birds. Her place has

> hosted Gray Crowned Rosy-finches, Pine Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, White

> winged Crossbills, Northern Pygmy Owl, Northern Goshawk, Dusky and Ruffed

> Grouse. She is very appreciative of all the visiting birders and those who

> have donated bird seed! I am thankful for her friendship and generosity,

> and she makes me feel like family. We are all lucky to have such an

> accommodating host!@


> It is all started with me knocking at her door and asking for permission

> to get close to the birds in her yard. Years ago, Judy bailed me out when

> my jeep broke down along Mary Ann Creek Rd. En route, we encountered a

> Great Gray Owl and she was blown away! Every year, she looks forward to the

> returning Bohemian Waxwings and Rosy-finches.


> I don't mean to gloat or create possible jealous or envy from what I see

> and photograph. What I hope is, my bird reports (and from others) and

> photos will inspire and motivate birders to explore the area. Directly or

> indirectly, there are more birders in the Okanogan in the last few years.

> It has been all positive. Birders boosting the economy, learning about the

> terrain and special birds, and developing a good, interpersonal

> relationship with the locals (Judy Howlett, Gary Eagle, and Meredith

> Spencer). On holiday weekends, some of the hotels rent out 20-25 rooms

> average during a time when it's slow. The Breadline owner in Omak, Paula

> appreciates the patronage and is often chatty and interested in what we see!


> Over the last 10 years, I have spent many countless, hours driving and

> hiking up there to look and learn about these special and challenging

> birds. My persistence and efforts has finally paid off. Much of my success

> also has to do with luck and karma! My hobby has now become a successful

> business (not entirely comfortable with it at times), so I don't post as

> much (limited time, I work a 40 hour job during the week) or reveal

> locations for sensitive birds. My bird reports have been detailed and

> revealing, if you go back several years and search the Tweeters archives.

> Recently, some birders have accused me of being greedy and not willing to

> share information.


> There are lots of good habitat up there to explore. I always keep an open

> mind and look in new places for target species besides stakeouts. I try to

> do a few, new roads when I am up there. And if I don't' see birds, it can

> reward me with beautiful scenery or other interesting wildlife such as a

> bobcat or wolves!


> With the recent big fires, it will be interesting what it will bring in

> the future. Already, I found two new, winter feeding locations for Sharp

> tailed Grouse. Each hosted 8-15 birds besides the stakeout areas in

> Conconully and Bridgeport! It was on roads less traveled and I was

> pleasantly rewarded. Be great to see more woodpeckers and breeding

> hawkowls! I can't wait to see what we all discover with more interest and

> birders' coverage!



> Many thanks to Stefan Schlick for encouraging me to become a bird guide.

> He is one of the best birders around, well-traveled, knowledgeable, and

> sharp. An can't forget Andy Stepniewski's influence and knowledge of the

> vast area which has helped many birders, including me.


> There were several highlights from this past weekend. Seeing FOUR Great

> Gray Owls hunting over an hour time, was SURREAL. One successfully

> grabbed a pocket gopher and ate it right in front of me! I also had a

> close encounter with a male, American 3-Toed Woodpecker. It was at eye

> level for 15 minute and--- wow, what a gorgeous bird upclose!


> Link to updated PHOTOS:


> https://www.flickr.com/photos/23662496@N02/


> Species Highlight for Trip:


> Prairie Falcon -two birds near Mansfield Peregrine Falcon-gorgeous bird on

> glacial erractic near Mansfield Great Horned Owl-several at dusk on

> Havillah Rd, pairs on Bridgeport Hill Rd, and Conconully Rd Northern Pygmy

> Owl -one bird near Chesaw Great Gray Owl-FIVE birds total, with seeing 4

> birds in an hour. on Hungry Hollow, Nealey, Sno-Park, Swainson Mill Rd, and

> Pontiac Ridge Rd Great Sage Grouse-3 birds along Division near Mansfield.

> Gray Partridge-small convey of 10 birds on Nealey Rd Ruffed Grouse-single

> birds along Nealey and Bolster Rd White headed Woodpecker-one male near

> Visser Ranch and 2 pairs on Cameron Lake Rd American Three Toed

> Woodpecker-a stunning male up close at eye level in Sno-Park Williamson's

> Sapsuckers-6-8 pairs drumming and calling away in near Sno-Park and

> OkanoganHighlands Bohemian Waxwings-flock of 600 along Century Ferry Canyon

> Rd Snow Buntings-a mesmerizing flock of a 1000 plus birds on F Rd near

> LaMoine Lapland Longspurs-at least 5 birds in a flock of 1000 plus Snow

> Buntings on F Rd near LaMoine Common Redpolls-several flocks of 200-300

> birds on Mary Ann Creek Rd and Hungry Hollow Rd Pine Grosbeaks-flock of 12

> birds on Bolster Rd Gray crowned Rosy-finches-a flock of 300 plus birds on

> Mary Ann Creek Rd swirling by us several times White winged

> Crossbills-small flock of 5 birds on Mary Ann Creek Rd



> Peace, love and good birding!



> Khanh Tran



> www.ktbirding.com



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