[Tweeters] Eastern Washington again, part two

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Mon Apr 1 06:05:05 PDT 2013

Hi Tweeters,

We finished our Easter weekend trip to eastern Washington by
trying again to see the Sage Grouse lek on the Leahy cutoff road. (We
missed them the previous weekend by looking on the wrong side of the road).
This time we started a bit earlier—as the sun rose we were at 2800 feet
somewhere between Grand Coulee Dam and Leahy Junction and the temperature
was 28 degrees. Brrrr. We arrived at the lek site a few minutes later and
were not surprised to see other people already there. Everyone was all
smiles. Yes, there were male Sage Grouses displaying. Matt Bartels was
there and he made sure we looked the right way this time. The sun was out,
there was no wind. We were soon smiling too. I counted 10 males in the
field that looked about ½ mile from where we were standing. The field’s
owner must have made peace with the birding community because there was a
photo blind in the middle of the extensive field. It was well-placed
because 3 of the male grouse were displaying right in front of it. You
could see one arm and a long lens poking out from the blind. We were elated
to have done this bit of birding correctly and after a while headed off,
noting lots of Vesper Sparrows and one Sage Thrasher as we retraced our
route back to the paved road.

Our next birding target for the day was Jameson Lake in
Moses Coulee. We had a cup of coffee and breakfast alongside the lower end
of the lake (before the resort). There were many species of duck, including
a lovely pair of Canvasbacks. We took our time driving back to Hwy 2 and
were pleased to find a Peregrine Falcon and Canyon Wren at one stop.

We are not terribly observant birders, so our total bird
count for two weekends in eastern WA was about 112. It was surprising to
see how different the two weekend lists were, considering that we had
visited several places twice.

Good birding, Charlotte Byers, Seattle

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