[Tweeters] Another Fabulous Eastern Washington Trip - Great Bird Karma

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Fri Jun 5 22:48:53 PDT 2015

Travel to the East Coast with some great birding
hoped for in Maine will take me out of state for
2+weeks in June, so I really wanted to get in "one
last" Eastern Washington trip before departing. I
set out on Tuesday with a list of 12 targeted new
birds for the year and targets for pictures where
I had previously seen the birds had but not
photographed them. There were to be stops along
the way but the plan was to concentrate on Pend
Oreille, Spokane and Lincoln counties for some
specialties there - hoping for some of the success
that George Pagos and I had a couple of years ago
under with the great guidance of Jon Isacoff.

After finding a targeted GRAY CATBIRD at Bullfrog
Pond I headed off to the BLACK THROATED SPARROW
spot on Recreation Road. Given its failure to
appear last year, it was not really a target -
more a dream. No go but I had the great good
fortune of meeting up with Brian Pendleton and his
son David. They were heading to Pend Oreille
County as well and we joined forces and had superb
birding. I will not go into the many details, but
the bottom line was great views and decent photos
of the following targeted birds: CLARK's GREBE,
FORSTER's TERN (ok a lousy photo), BLACK TERN,
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (absolutely killer views),
Among a lot of other great birds, we also had an
apparently rare LEAST FLYCATCHER. After Brian and
his son continued north I turned and headed west
where as already reported I had two great visits
with the Hardy Canyon DICKCISSEL and also picked
up the targeted COMMON NIGHTHAWK. The only target
missed was NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD which was more
than made up for by the lovely DICKCISSEL. I am
sure I have never been so successful finding that
percentage of targets on any trip. Brian and
David added immensely to the great trip and the
weather cooperated almost as much as the birds.

The topper was a return trip to Bethel Ridge
hoping for photos of BLACK BACKED and AMERICAN
THREE TOED WOODPECKERS. I had seen each on an
earlier visit but they were far away across
impenetrable fields with too many downed trees so
no photos. Having seen the DICKCISSEL a short
while earlier nothing was going to ruin my day but
this time I had specific directions for nest sites
for each species so I was optimistic. I found
neither of those nests BUT the good karma
continued and with a lot of hiking and listening I
was able to find my own nest locations for each
and got some nice pictures.

I have been very fortunate to have had some super
Eastern Washington trips both this year and in
years past, but it would be very hard to top this one.

Some photos at

Blair Bernson

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