[Tweeters] Ellensburg to Vantage (Ross's Goose Continues)

Somer, Lonnie lsomer at highline.edu
Wed Mar 25 18:30:16 PDT 2015

Hi Tweeters,

I decided on the spur of the moment to do some birding from the Ellensburg area to Vantage. The precipitation at Snoqualmie Pass was a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow, with some slush on the road, but the trees were covered in snow and waterfalls were everywhere, making for a beautiful drive. I left the rain behind in Cle Elum and had cool, cloudy, calm weather for birding. Here's what I saw (and heard):

Woodhouse Loop Rd. south of Ellensburg: As described in an earlier post, the ROSS'S GOOSE was in a field a little passed the junction with Canyon View Rd., in the direction of I-82. I parked just beyond the OSPREY platform and walked back a couple of dozen feet. It was with 1 SNOW GOOSE and some CANADA GEESE, just visible on the top of the swale. You really need a scope to make out the details. It was nice enough to be sitting in profile for me, and the Snow Goose walked a few feet from it, also facing in the same direction, allowing for a nice comparison. It's a nice birdy spot, very peaceful. Also seen were 3 TREE SWALLOWS, 3 HOUSE FINCHES, 3 OSPREY (2 on and off the platform mentioned above and another on a nesting platform at the turnoff to Woodhouse Loop Rd.), 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 2 N. FLICKERS, 1 GREAT-BLUE HERON, 7 A. ROBINS, 1 KILLDEER, lots of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 2 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, 1 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, 4 BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES, lots of A. CROWS, 2 SONG SPARROWS, and 4 CALIFORNIA QUAIL.

Gingko Petrified Forest SP (by the Interpretative Center): 1 SAY'S PHOEBE, 2 ROCK WREN, 1 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, 2 very vocal A. KESTRELS, 2 equally vocal N. FLICKERS, A. CROWS, E. STARLINGS, 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS (AUDUBON'S).

The Cove Park (Grant County Public Utilities) off of Huntzinger Rd as well as that portion of the Columbia River: 1 BALD EAGLE, 30+ VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, 1 ROCK WREN, 2 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS, 1 COMMON LOON, AND 36 RUDDY DUCKS, the latter 2 species on the river.

Gingko Petrified Forest SP (trail section): 1 SAY'S PHOEBE, 1 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, 1 SPOTTED TOWHEE

Quilomene Wildlife Area (first access driving from west to east): 5 SAGEBRUSH SPARROWS seen, more heard, 1 LONG-BILLED CURLEW (a vocalizing fly-by; very cool), 1 COMMON RAVEN

Quilomene Wildlife Area (second access area with the horse corral): 1 very tame SAGE THRASHER, 1 A. ROBIN, 2 HORNED LARKS

Along Old Vantage Hwy between MP 12 and 13 or so: More SAGE THRASHERS, SAGEBRUSH SPARROWS, AND 2 BREWER'S SPARROWS (seen, at least 2 more heard).

Also, 6 MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS seen while driving on Old Vantage Hwy.

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer


mombiwheeler at gmail.com

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