[Tweeters] Some Pend Oreille and Spokane Co notes from this July 4th weekend

Stefan Schlick greenfant at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 6 22:50:55 PDT 2014

The evening of July 4th and early the next morning, I birded Calispell Lake near Usk (Pend Oreille Co). What a magnificent area! The perimeter roads were super birdy. Red-eyed Vireos seem to be dripping from the trees. Scoping the lake itself is difficult and I'm sure I missed a lot of waterfowl, but there were oodles of ducks.
Mid day 7/5 I was briefly at Bunchgrass Meadows. The mosquitoes are horrific right now, rivaling a mid July Malheur NWR trip along the CPR. Just about as bad as it gets in the Pacific NW. I really lucked out and immediately pished/tooted up a huge chickadee flock with several Boreals in it. 2 Lincoln's Sparrows were singing near the camp site and 2 Pine Grosbeaks were at the "saddle" pullout (this is the area where it goes downhill on your LEFT driving in).
On 7/6 (today), I spent a couple of hours in the morning at Mt. Spokane and it was most enjoyable. While I didn't see anything rare, I liked the lushness of the areas near and above Bald Knob CG. It was pretty birdy too. Cassin's Finch, Evening Grosbeak, Fox Sparrow, Red Crossbill, Mountain Bluebird and Olive-sided Flycatcher were all present.
Here the highlights:
Lincoln:-Several Grasshopper Sparrows (Max Harder Rd, Sprague Lake)
Pend Oreille:-Many Red-eyed Vireos around Calispell Lake-American Redstart (Westside Calispell Rd, MP5)-Bobolink (Westside Calispell Rd, MP 6.5, MP 9; also along 20 north of Cusick)-Northern Waterthrush (crippling look of 1 singer near the view tower, Big Meadow Lake)-Three-toed Woodpecker (1 at campground, Big Meadow Lake)-Pair of yodeling Common Loons (Big Meadow Lake)-Pine Grosbeak (2 at "saddle", Bunchgrass Meadows)-Boreal Chickadee (several with Mountain and Chestnut-backed at "lower end" of Bunchgrass Meadows; this is the first pullout when you get there, sort of a small knoll that you can walk down from; sorry Andy)-Pygmy Nuthatch (1 bird hammering away along Westside Calispell Rd, near MP9, this is a code 4 bird for Pend Oreille)
Spokane:-Clay-colored Sparrow (continuing at 5415 Handy Rd, Colbert; still singing at 5pm on 7/4)-Grasshopper, Brewer's, Vesper Sparrows (Stroup Rd off Hallet, west of Medical Lake), but no Clay-colored-Least Flycatcher (1 still calling vigorously this morning at Liberty Lake County Park)-Black Tern (2-3 at Swan Pond/Blackhorse Lake, Turnbull NWR)
Stefan SchlickHillsboro, OR

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