[Tweeters] Southeast Washington, 9/18 to 9/21/2014
paul.webster at comcast.net
Thu Sep 25 18:19:23 PDT 2014
Barbara and I made a trip to Southeast Washington last week, visiting
mainly Asotin and Garfield Counties, but also making stops in neighboring
counties. We had a good trip, thanks to reports by others who have birded
this area, including Matt Bartels, Michael Hobbs, Terry Little, Tim
O'Brien, Ken Knittle -- and the "Birders' Guide to Washington".
AMERICAN PIPITS were on the move: we had 2 at the Hatton Rest Area, 8 at
the WSU farm on Hastings Hill Rd in Garfield County, and 2 on a gravel bar
in the Snake River south of Asotin. We saw lots of DARK-EYED JUNCOS and
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, the latter were almost everywhere we stopped.
Basset Park in Washtucna was a busy place at around noon on 9/18, with
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, one GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, ORANGE-CROWNED and a few
WILSON'S WARBLERS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, PINE SISKIN, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, a
lone WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and a GRAY FLYCATCHER hawking insects from a rail
fence near the park's northeast corner. We saw 5 GRAY PARTRIDGE run across
SR 261 near Wanamaker Rd in Franklin County.
We spent the 19th in Asotin County, starting in Swallows Park in Clarkston
and working our way up the Snake River. At the top of Couse Creek Rd we
found 6 LESSER GOLDFINCHES waiting for us. On the way to Fields Spring SP
we found LARK, SONG, and SAVANNAH SPARROWS, HORNED LARKS, and a NORTHERN
HARRIER hoping to snare a few of them for lunch. At Fields Spring Park we
hiked to Puffer Butte -- great views, but few birds!
On the 20th we spent the day in Garfield County. At Willow Landing we had a
pair of CINNAMON TEAL. Below Lower Granite Dam Barbara spotted a GREAT
HORNED OWL in a tree above the Lambi Creek Picnic Area, and a narrow island
just north of Lambi Creek attracted 4 AMERICAN WIGEON and 3 WOOD DUCKS,
plus gulls and geese. We watched 2 HORNED GREBES while we ate our lunch,
and then Barbara spotted 4 EARED GREBES, one still in alternate plumage. In
the Blue Mountains above Pomeroy we drove as far as the Clearwater Guard
Station, finding both bluebirds, PINE SISKIN, and MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE. When
we turned around, we'd gone less than a half-mile when a NORTHERN GOSHAWK
flew across the road in front of us and disappeared into the forest on our
right. Later, on US 12 between Pomeroy and Dayton a BARN OWL looked out of
an old barn as we passed.
On the 21st we visited Dodd Rd in Walla Walla County where we found the
WHITE-FACED IBIS and AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER reported earlier by Merry Lynn
Denny. We checked in at McNary Headquarters, and found BONAPARTE'S and
FRANKLIN'S GULLS. Then we drove on to Kennewick, where we walked out on
Bateman Island and found distant but adequate views toward the mouth of the
Yakima River. There we identified a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, a BLACK-BELLIED
PLOVER, and 8 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.
It was good fall birding!
paul.webster AT comcast.net
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