[Tweeters] Omak Creek Breeding Bird Survey
cwright7 at uw.edu
Wed Jun 12 21:12:26 PDT 2013
I will follow Sharon's and Ryan's lead and sum up another Breeding Bird
Survey route, this one in Okanogan County, starting along Hwy 155 north of
Nespelem and winding up at Moses Meadows. Ryan Shaw assisted me in
conducting the survey last Sunday. This was the 6th year for me, and Ryan's
The only totally new species this year was a Long-eared Owl calling near
the wetlands at stop 5, just as the sun rose.
We tallied the highest number of individuals in my short run of years. 1143
compares to the average of 1034 for the other five years I've run it.
Species total was just a hair over the average at 89 species - tremendous
American Robins and Chipping Sparrows often vie for the "most abundant"
title. This year robins edged out Chippers with 86 birds. The "top 5" was
rounded out by Cliff Swallow (but only from 2 points), Yellow Warbler, and
Veerys were present in good numbers. 31 birds at 14 stops. Some years it
seems Veerys have not arrived in force by the date we do this route, so
numbers are highly variable. Listening to a half-dozen of this species
singing in the close predawn is an unearthly experience that everyone
should be treated to.
White-headed Woodpeckers were seen at a record 4 spots; we normally only
find 1. Red-naped Sapsucker also exceeded the record, with 19 birds (avg
6). Yellow Warblers seemed to be up, with this year's 57 exceeding the
average of 33. Evening Grosbeaks are having a decent year, numbering 23
Nashville Warblers seemed to be down. We've consistently found them at 7
points in previous years, but this year only 5. Catbirds were also down,
with only 1 detected (avg 4).
Missed this year were Williamson's Sapsucker, Black-backed Woodpecker,
Canyon Wren, and Rock Wren.
Another highlight was a very scrawny Black Bear a dozen meters off the road
at one of the points.
On Saturday, we found our moose for the weekend (a female with large calf)
along Gold Lake Road which starts from Nespelem. Also along that road, we
found a Least Flycatcher in an unusual habitat (for Washington). The bird
was singing and flying from tree to tree on a purely ponderosa pine slope.
Earlier in the day, a Western Grebe pair on Jameson Lake seemed a bit
unusual for summer on the Waterville Plateau.
<cwright7 at u.washington.edu>
Cheers and good birding,
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