[Tweeters] Skamania County Big Day

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Fri Jan 25 21:55:49 PST 2013

Les Carlson thought that we should try and improve on the Skamania County January Big Day record of 58 that we set last year. So today, Les and Russ Koppendrayer and I ran another one, coming up with 69 species. At first light we had NORTHERN HARRIER and WILSON'S SNIPE on Fitzgerald Road in the morning but dipped on the Short-eared Owls. At the St.Cloud Recreation Area there was a COMMON LOON in the Columbia River and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in the orchard with dozens of Varied Thrush. There were both TRUMPETER and TUNDRA SWANS at the Franz Lake NWR and a EURASIAN WIGEON was at Skamania Landing. At the adjacent Doetsch Pond sector of the Beacon Rock State Park, we once again saw the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK.. A stop at Home Valley Park gave us three shorebirds, KILLDEER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and WILSON'S SNIPE. At the east end of the county we added CALIFORNIA QUAIL and WILD TURKEY. We returned to Fitzgerald Road at 5PM to try again for SHORT-EARED OWLS, this time we were successful in seeing one perched out in the open preening for nearly 20 minutes before it started hunting. Thinking that that this was a good end for the day we headed for my place were after unloading my gear we played another owl call and were rewarded almost immediately with a vocal NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL. The really surprising sighting was of a bat flying around our heads as the owl was calling. Wilson Cady
Columbia River Gorge, WA

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