[Tweeters] Columbia Gorge Birding

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Sat Apr 13 22:00:46 PDT 2013

Today I was accompanied by a great group of Vancouver Audubon members on a two-part field trip starting at the Steigerwald Lake NWR, in Clark County. Here we met up with Jim Clapp, Columbia Gorge Refuges
manager for an orientation for a breeding bird survey to be done on the Pierce NWR in Skamania County. While Jim went over the protocol, we heard YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS calling from the cattail patch and watched a LINCOLN'S SPARROW searching through the shrubs blackened by last fall's grass fire. We then traveled up to the Pierce NWR (closed to the public) where the new refuge volunteer were given a tour of the refuge roads, trails and habitats. We found several RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS including one excavating a nest hole for a perfect example for filling out the atlas form. There were 10 TURKEY VULTURES circling over the railroad tracks which probably indicates that an animals was struck by one of the passing trains. After finishing the training we parted company with Jim and birded our way east. We arrived at Bonneville Dam at about noon and easily found the ARCTIC TERN right off of the juvenile fish bypass facility (the sprinklers) on Hamilton Island. Few birds were on Rock Creek Cove in Stevenson, but the foy CLIFF SWALLOWS were flying over the pond. A breeding plumaged COMMON LOON was in the Columbia River at the Spring Creek Hatchery and the flock of WILD TURKEYS at Underwood were very actively displaying. We found neither Acorn Woodpecker nor Lewis's Woodpecker along Balch Road but were treated to some great weed-watching in that area. At the mouth of the Klickitat River the sandbar held 8 CASPIAN TERNS. We then headed back down the river from the cool, windy, but sunny east end to the cool and rainy west end. Wilson Cady
Columbia River Gorge, WA

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