[Tweeters] Belated Chelan weekend report (long... Sorry)

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 13 18:54:50 PDT 2016

Heya Bird Nerds,

I made another trip out to Chelan County this weekend, finding some good birds and good views.

Saturday highlights:

Horse Lake Road (just where it leaves residential Wenatchee): Lincoln's Sparrow and Anna's Hummingbird

Wenatchee Waterfront: Herring Gulls were new for the year, and Lincoln's Sparrows were here and there. Three without a dedicated look at every sparrow out there. Fun to see their migratory push. Savannah Sparrows were there by the dozens. That was another new bird for the year, and a lot of fun to have them suddenly appear in droves. The final bird of interest was a Western Sandpiper, the only peep I've been able to find this year! Green-winged Teal and WoodbDucjbwere the most interesting ducks I came across.

Clara Lake: I did this hike hoping for some new woodpeckers (red breasted sapsucker and black-backed woodpecker have both been seen in the area) and Brown Creeper, but found none of the above. I got lots of great looks at Hairy Woodpeckers, and a couple of Golden-crowned Sparrows popped up near a large patch of fireweed going to seed.

Malaga area: not anything interesting here duck-wise, but I found some Virginia Rails in the marsh near Meadow Lake.

Back to Wenatchee Confluence Park, I was able to talk with the ranger and make a quick run in to look for Barn Owls hunting over the grassy fields just past the bridge, but found no owls at all, just deer.

Sunday morning I made it to the Chelan Ridge Hawkwatch Observatory, a little bummed that I'd missed a Swainson's Hawk and Northern Goshawk the day before, but what an amazing site! Not having been there before, I was expecting the road to be worse (very drivable going in from Antoine Creek Road), and the observatory to be more developed (there was a yurt at the parking lot and signs sending me on a 3/4 mile walk to the observatory itself, which was a bunch of rocks). Great great spot with beautiful views, and knowledgeable people making the observations. They're very gentle with people that are not great at raptor ID's (coughcoughmecoughcough), and it's fun to see the data they're collecting. Ravens, Red-tails, Cooper's, Sharpies and some Turkey Vultures were the only big birds I saw up there, but there were also plenty of pipits and Mountain Bluebirds, as well as a surprising Black-billed Magpie. Later in the day (and I couldn't have stayed that long), they had six (!) Broad-winged Hawks come through. Late morning and afternoon seem to be the best times, if you plan to make the trip.

Taking Cooper Mountain Road down was also extremely drivable in my Taurus. I got a little excited about an unfamiliar call note that was sounding a little like Black-backed Woodpecker, and nothing else I'd heard before. With some help and research, I nailed down the likely culprit: Red Squirrels, which replace Douglas Squirrels as you hit the northeast side of Lake Chelan.

Beebe Springs: more Lincoln's and Savannah Sparrows, and Virginia Rail.

Scotty Creek Road: last stop of the day, calling for Northern Pygmy Owl every mile or so got me one about three miles in. Also new and 189 for the year!

Eleven more birds in two trips could be a tall order, but if I fall short of the goal of 200, it won't have been from a lack of trying!

We do have spots for the blanket trip on October 9th! See the WOS field trip site for details, and email me for a spot!

Happy birding!

Tim Brennan
(Not updated yet! Likely this weekend)

Sent from my iPhone

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