[Tweeters] Okanogan Trip Report: Mostly fancy grouse, owls, and other fun birds

khanh tran khanhbatran at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 2 18:36:23 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets: This past weekend, we had an incredible trip in the Okanogan. We lucked out with our timing and found some good birds in the Okanogan Highlands and in the higher elevation areas. To much of my surprise, the hot weather did not suppress birding activity. The birding this late spring and early summer has been slower than previous years, with lower numbers of the commonly breeding residents. However, Northern Waterthrush, American Redstarts, and Clay colored sparrows seem to be more prominent in the Okanogan Highlands than previous. For the first time this spring, I got no responses from Flammulated owls at Rock Creek CG or other surrounding areas. I tried several times in the past eight weeks with no luck. There were many highlights of the trips including a wonderful family of Northern Hawk Owls. We got to watch the parents feed the owlets and scold at a pine marten in a dead conifer. The pine marten was rather trusting of us and was very photogenic. There are at least three owlets, and possibly more. The feeding exchange was rather quick and lasted no more than a few seconds before the parents took off again to hunt for more prey. We also fortunate to see a family of Great Gray Owls with a recently fledged young during the day. These forest phantoms are so secretive and silent and it's amazing how well their cryptic plumage blends in with their environment. Another favorite moment of the trip was watching a pair of black terns feeding each other about ten feet from our jeep. Always nice to see these elegant birds perched! Trip photos are posted here and others from the month of June. Hope you will enjoy them. http://www.pbase.com/spruce_grouse/updated_images_2013&page=all
Species of Birds Seen: Spruce Grouse: Several birds along Salmon Meadows and Lone Frank PassWhite tailed Ptarmigan: One bird at Slate PeakDusky Grouse: Several birds along Nine Mile Rd and Mary Ann Creek RdNorthern Goshawk: An immature along Lone Frank Pass and beautiful adult near Salmon Meadows with preyGolden Eagle: Several birds along Hwy 97 near Riverside and Chesaw RdAmerican Avocet: One feeding bird in the Highlands along Grange RdBlack necked Stilt: A first for me in the Highlands along Grange RdNorthern Hawk Owl: Several birds along with fledglings near Freeze Out Pass & Iron Gate. Potentially more pairs. Great Gray Owl: Several birds seen near Havillah and Molson area. Lots of good habitat up there to support many pairs.Long eared Owl: Three birds along Scotch Creek Wildlife AreaCommon Poorwill: Several birds seen along road near Wolf Ridge AreaBlack Swifts: A few birds in town of WinthropWhite throated Swifts: Along Loomis-Oroville RdWilliamson's Sapsucker: Several birds in the Highlands with a nesting pair near Dry Gulch Ext. RdWhite headed Woodpecker: A male outside of Havillah Sno-ParkAmerican Three Toe: Several birds in Havillah Sno-Park, Lone Frank Pass, and Iron Gate TrailheadBlack Backed Woodpecker: One bird in Havillah Sno-ParkLeast Flycatcher: A very vocal bird along Bolster Rd and Swanson Mill RdBoreal Chickadee: Several birds at Iron Gate Trailhead and Lone Frank PassNorthern Waterthrush: Up to six or plus birds on Mary Ann Creek Rd and Bolster RdAmerican Redstarts: A male along Mary Ann Creek and a pair along Bolster RdClay colored Sparrows: Several birds along Nine Mile Rd, Bolster Rd, and Havillah RdGrasshopper Sparrows: Several birds on Cameron Lake Rd and Silver Hill Rd near Conconully, and HighlandsBobolinks: Several beautiful males near Siwash Creek Rd in the HighlandsGray crowned Rosy-finches: A few birds near Slate PeakPine Grosbeaks: A pair near Lone Frank Pass and Hart's Pass Good birding, Khanh Tranwww.ktbirding.com

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