[Tweeters] Winter Birding Waterville Plateau - Seattle Audubon field trip January 11

kelsberg at u.washington.edu kelsberg at u.washington.edu
Sun Jan 12 13:33:18 PST 2014

Sue Yates, Jim Owens, and I led a Seattle Audubon field trip: "Winter Birding on the Waterville Plateau". We left Seattle yesterday in the most abominable weather I've ever started a field trip, but while many people were indoors watching the 'Hawks in awe, we encountered sunny blue skies and mild winds in Waterville. There was no snow on the plateau, so it was tough to find and scope through flocks of passerines in the fields (much easier against a white background). We birded the roadsides, the Lamoine grove, the Mansfield cemetery, the Wells wildlife area, the Columbia River from Bridgeport, the orchards up through Central Ferry Canyon, and finished in the trees of the Packwood cemetery.
We ended up with 37 species, including Rough-legged Hawks, Horned Larks, Bohemian Waxwings, Northern Shrikes. Highlights included great looks a Red-tailed Hawk with a full crop (vole?), a cooperative Northern Shrike, Great Horned Owls, rafts of waterbirds (including Canvasbacks, Common Loons, many Hooded and Common Mergansers).
The drive back unfortunately corresponded with the storm hitting the Cascades, so we crossed Blewett Pass in a blizzard - thanks to 4WD and calm companions.

Gary Kelsberg
kelsberg at yew dot washington dot eedoo

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