[Tweeters] Highlights of Long Weekend Trip to Eastern Washington

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Mon Mar 17 22:47:16 PDT 2014

Impossible to start without high praise to Mike
and MerryLynn Denny. They graciously gave of time
and expertise for a phenomenal day of birding in
Walla Walla County. One of the most enjoyable and
productive days ever with this extraordinary couple.

Walla Walla was on Saturday (also with Steve Pink)
and was under warm and sunny skies. Over 80
species including Great Egret, Black Crowned Night
Heron, 7000+ Snow Geese in a single flock,
hundreds of Cackling and Greater White Fronted
Geese, 17 duck species including Eurasian Widgeons
and Red Breasted Mergansers, Great Horned, Barn
and Western Screech Owl, Ferruginous Hawk, Canyon,
Bewick's and Rock Wrens, Clark's Grebe, Gray
Partridge, Long Billed Curlew, Say;s Phoebe,
Loggerhead Shrike and Tricolored Blackbird.
Sunday morning I added Saw Whet Owl and Cedar
Waxwings in Fish Hook Park. The highlight of the
Walla Walla visit (other than soaking up the
Dennys' knowledge) was a Canyon Wren responding to
calls that came right to me...so close it actually
touched my pants leg.

On Friday I visited Gingko State Park and
Quilomene Wildlife area where I had Say's Phoebes,
Sagebrush Sparrow, Mountain Bluebirds, Rock Wren,
Sage Thrashers and Vesper Sparrow among others
before heading south in ferocious winds first to
Fort Simcoe where there were a number of the
always beautiful Lewis's Woodpeckers and then
circuitously to Walla Walla. I have never seen so
many tumbleweeds including the car being hit by
many. Earlier on Thursday afternoon I drove
Umtanum and North Wenas Roads and the Yakima
Canyon with best birds being Prairie Falcon,
Loggerhead Shrike, Mountain and Western Bluebirds,
Red Crossbills, Cassin's Finch, Turkey Vulture,
Western Scrub Jay, Say's Phoebe and a possible
Cliff Swallow.

Sunday after Fish Hook Park I was just birding
along the way and hoping for Sandhill Cranes. I
hit Columbia NWR and Lind Coulee with relatively
few birds, again in the wind, but a singing Rock
Wren and Canyon Wren in close proximity at
Columbia NWR together with many swirling swallows
along the cliff faces. I may have missed Tree
Swallow among the numerous Violet Greens but had a
positive ID on a very fast flying Cliff Swallow (a
week earlier than our WOS trip had them in the
same place last year). I saw no cranes so decided
to head over to Lower Crab Creek where I found a
massive congregation (at least 1500 and perhaps
many more) prepping for next weeks Othello Crane

A final stop was a return to Quilomene with the
same birds in smaller numbers. It was then to
home through pelting rain and lots of non-sticking

A wonderful trip with 100+ birds, some decent
photos and great memories with super people.

Some photos (mostly just ID quality) at:

Blair Bernson

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