[Tweeters] Eastern WA birds, March 24

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Mon Mar 25 11:38:54 PDT 2013

Hi Tweeters,

I was too tired to post this last night, so a slightly
delayed report: Bill and I continued birding in Eastern Washington Sunday
by going to the Sage Grouse lek on the Leahy cutoff road. We followed the
directions in the Opperman book carefully and scanned the hills to the north
of the road. We heard and saw nothing. Later in the day we encountered a
group of WOS birders who had all been at the same lek a bit earlier than us
and had enjoyed good views of the grouse!. Finally, someone noted the birds
were on the south side of the road now and apparently not making much noise.
The lek has apparently been on that side of the road for several years now..
I mention this in case other birders as uninformed as us might be heading
that way!

Our best birding of the day was following up on Meredith
Spencer's report of birding the upper reaches of Central Ferry Canyon Road.
Locals will know that a big portion of the road has been recently burnt over
by a wildfire and there's not much left. The pine trees at the top were
affected, but some survived and and some were burnt. On the way through the
pine trees, we observed a flock of RED CROSSBILLS at fairly close quarters.
Then as we reached the top of the canyon, we spied a flock of perhaps
100-150 GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES. These birds were foraging on the ground
next to us as we sat in the car. Then, as they moved on we got out to find
out what woodpecker was tapping on one of the fairly well scorched pine
trees. This bird turned out to be a HAIRY WOODPECKER. We also saw both
MOUNTAIN and WESTERN BLUEBIRDS as we watched the woodpecker. At this point
the WOS birders arrived. They immediately attracted the BLACK-BACKED
WOODPECKER that Meredith had seen earlier (or perhaps another individual).
All these birds sort of made up for missing the Sage Grouse earlier on.

The weather throughout the birding in eastern Washington was
exceptionally good. Practically no wind, temperatures freezing at night,
but tolerable during the day. Sunny!

Charlotte Byers, Seattle

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