[Tweeters] Upper Cowlitz Valley

Adam Crutcher acrut44 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 20:59:41 PDT 2016

Hello Tweets,

Jason Vassallo and I decided to check out some underbirded areas in Lewis
County along US 12. The morning started off with a Barn Owl flying across
the road near Ohop Valley into the thick fog. Our first notable stop was at
Taidnapam Boat Launch where we had a mixed group of duck flyovers including
1 American Wigeon and 22 Lesser Scaup. Along the mud there was a single
Long-billed Dowitcher and as we headed back to the car a wood duck flew
over the ramp. A better duck flock was seen at the east end of Riffe Lake
that included 1 Gadwall, 8 American Wigeon, 4 Mallard, 7 Northern Shoveler,
and 5 Northern Pintail. Out in the fields there was an abundance of
Savannah Sparrows which we concluded there were 200 of. Even with all of
these Savannah's we could not find one Vesper in the flock. While sifting
through the flock of Savannah's a cloud of swallows, swifts, and pipits
emerged. Out of the 1000 Violet-greens over the field we could only find 1
juvenile Tree Swallow and 250 Barn Swallow so it seems most of the other
swallow species had left the area. Among the 35 pipits we could not find
any longspurs. A little ways down champion haul road towards Glenoma there
was a small group of warblers in the trees but what was even more exciting
was a Lewis's Woodpecker that was flying west across the lake. Other than
an American Bittern, Peters Road was pretty dead. Once the clock hit 11am
it was very hard to find any activity but we managed to pick out
Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Black-throated Gray
Warbler after lots of pishing. At almost every single stop we had Savannah
Sparrows but could not find any uncommon sparrows with them. Eventually at
a clearcut (same one with the Loggerhead Shrike this March) just after
Packwood we had a single Vesper Sparrow flush from the ground and find a
stump to sit on for the next 5 minutes. It was great exploring new areas in
what seems like a very underrated birding area. If anyone would like to see
the checklists from today please feel free to email me or check the recent
visits for Lewis County on ebird.

Adam Crutcher
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