[Tweeters] Eastern Washington Saturday and Sunday
byers345 at comcast.net
Sun Apr 21 20:04:49 PDT 2013
Bill and I have spent the last two days wandering around Eastern Washington in search of whatever interesting birds we could find. Yesterday we stopped in Cle Elum and the NP Ponds to (a) get maple bars and (b) see what's happening on the ponds. Compared to last month, the ponds were very quiet, but we did observe a largish flock of WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flying over the ponds and heading north.
Last night and tonight we have stayed at a motel on the Columbia River in Richland. It has been very interesting to see what has turned up: COOT, "BARNYARD" GRAYLAG GOOSE, COMMON LOON, HORNED GREBE, RING-BILLED GULL, WESTERN GREBE, GREAT EGRET, BONAPARTE'S GULL, OSPREY, SCAUP sp., GREAT BLUE HERON, MALLARD, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, CANADA GOOSE, plus a few others. I'm sure we'll find something else before we leave.
Today we visited McNary NWR, where we were blown away by the hundreds of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS that were visiting the many feeders along with RED-WINGED and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS. We looked in vain for other passerine species. We were gratified to see another flock of WHITE-FRONTED GEESE that landed in a field next to the refuge. We then proceeded to the confluence of the Walla Walla River and the Columbia River where, as advertised, there were lots of birds including 20-30 AVOCETS, a number of BLACK-NECKED STILTS, many ducks, many CASPIAN TERNS, and, oddly, one GOLDEN EAGLE, standing on a sandbar the way Bald Eagles often do, but this was definitely a Golden Eagle. We had also seen a couple hundred WHITE PELICANS as we drove down the Columbia.
Later in the day we noted another migration spectacle as dozens of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES visited trees in Palouse Falls State Park. Near there we also saw two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and one SWAINSON'S HAWK..
The weather has been mostly OK to quite nice. Tomorrow we're off to see if anything migratory is happening in Washtucna.
Happy birding, Charlotte Byers, Seattle
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