[Tweeters] Okanogan Highlands

Amit Kulkarni avkulkarni at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 20:25:59 PST 2014


I birded parts of Okanogan Highlands today and yesterday with variable
results.

Today, visibility was very low early in the morning and, windy and snowy
after about 1pm. In the middle, for about 3 hours or so, it was nice and
sunny.

I found a flock of at least 300 SNOW BUNTINGS at the intersection of
Havillah Rd and W Wildermuth Rd. It is probably the same flock found by
Stefan Schlick a few days ago. I counted about 120 on the wire along side
the road and guessed about 100 sitting on ground on each side. I scoped
through the flock and found about 20 HORNED LARKS and 4 LAPLAND LONGSPURS.
Both the buntings and longspurs were lifers for me.

Other notable birds of the day were THREE TOED WOODPECKER at Havillah Sno
Park and NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL at both Havillah Sno Park and MaryAnn Creek Rd.
I did not see any kind of grouse on MaryAnn Creek Rd and there were no
signs of Great Gray Owl at the Sno Park. The only finches I saw were
Goldfinches at the Hungry Hollow and Grange Rd feeders.

Yesterday morning, I birded Scotch Creek and did not see any grouse either.
Notable birds there there were a pair of GOLDEN EAGLE at the overlook and
AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS at the intersection with Happy Hills Rd.

Later, I went on Cameron Lake Rd, but the conditions were atrocious for
birding. Visibility was less than 100ft along most of it and was less than
50ft at some places, so I just breezed through it and went to Central Ferry
Canyon. Visibility was again bad at the lower end of the road and improved
as I went higher. At the Packwood Cemetery, I got PYGMY NUTHATCH, RED
CROSSBILLS and flushed a couple of RUFFED GROUSE from the thickets on the
side of the road. No Three Toed Woodpecker or Pygmy Owl.

Tomorrow, I am planning to bird Waterville Plateau on my way home.

-Amit Kulkarni
Bellevue, WA
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