[Tweeters] Columbia Basin Rarities

Jonathan B. Isacoff isacoff at gonzaga.edu
Mon Mar 11 21:13:15 PDT 2013

On a tour of Columbia Basin hotspots, a lot of great birds were about. Highlights: According to the NWR biologist, record numbers of SNOW GEESE are on the refuge right now. I had 2 flocks, one of 400 and another of 250. With them were 2 ROSS'S GEESE. Canada and Cackling Geese were beyond count. Huge Goose flocks are feeding in fields North of Royal Lake. SANDHILL CRANES are moving in, there were a number of groups in single digits and dozens in various spots around the refuge.

Along SR 17 a few miles outside Othello was a flock of 7 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS. On Reynolds Road North just outside of Othello was a GYRFALCON. I was informed there was a bird on McMannimon Rd. this winter, could be the same bird, don't know. At Potholes SP were a pair of WOOD DUCKS, a VARIED THRUSH, Tree and VG Swallows, and a very early CLIFF SWALLOW, a real surprise. Taking the long route back to Spokane there was a GOLDEN EAGLE on Old Kuck's Rd. outside Danvenport and 3 SNOWY OWLS in the Morrison/SR 2 corridor between Davenport and Reardan. Interesting to see no ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS South of I-90 but over a dozen between Hartline and Davenport along SR-2. Probably some other stuff but I can't remember!

Good birding,
Jon Isacoff, Spokane

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