[Tweeters] Columbia Gorge Birds

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Mon Mar 10 12:54:47 PDT 2014


Yesterday, I led a Columbia River Gorge field trip for the Vancouver Audubon Society. We met at the Steigerwald Lake NWR in Washougal, Clark County, and decided that as it was raining we would head immediately to Klickitat County and bird our way back to the west. When we arrived at the Lyle-Balch Cemetery, just off of Old Highway 8 there were only a few sprinkles falling and the weather improved for the rest of the day. At the cemetery we had two pair of WESTERN BLUEBIRDS and a very cooperative LEWIS'S WOODPECKER, both were life birds for several of our members who are recent transplants to Washington from other states. We then returned to Old Highway 8, where we stopped at the second power pole east of the east end of the Balch Road loop, where we put spotting scopes on the ACORN WOODPECKER'S granary tree. Despite this pine snag being at least a quarter mile south of the road we all had good looks of at least two of the members of this colony coming to the tree.Back in Skamania County, we visited the Doetsch Pond area of Beacon Rock State Park, accessed from east end of Skamania Landing Road(milepost 32.9 Highway 14), and walked around the newly renovated pond and new plantings. The BALD EAGLE nest is active and at least one bird was perched in the cottonwood nest tree along the trail. We checked the fence lines around the open field and found one SAY'S PHOEBE on the wires. Our final stop was at the Franz Lake NWR Overlook (milepost 31.5 Highway 14) where the only waterfowl remaining were eleven TRUMPETER SWANS. We ended up with a total of 59 bird species for the day and some early wildflowers including Grass Widows and three species of Lomatium, the loveliest being the endemic pink-flowering Columbia Lomatium. Wilson Cady
Columbia River Gorge, WA


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