[Tweeters] Whitman, Lincoln, Stevens and Ferry trip (longish)
greenfant at hotmail.com
Sun May 31 23:58:39 PDT 2015
This last weekend's trip lead me from Whitman to Ferry County, via Lincoln and Stevens. Temperatures were warm and there were no crowds. I was concerned that it would be too early in the year and that some of the breeders would still be in transit. They were all there. In good numbers too. Boy, was it fun!
I started at Sheep Lake south of Sprague Saturday morning just after 5am. 2 friendly horses had kept me company all night. Wilson's Phalarope, American Avocet, Yellow-headed Blackbird and a few Grasshopper Sparrows were all easy to get within 5min. A breeding-plumaged BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was a surprise.
At Rock Lake I found 2 Caspian Terns, a breeding-plumaged Common Loon (right by the boat launch), a Western and a CLARK'S GREBE.
I briefly looked for the Clay-colored Sparrow along Seven Mile Rd east of Davenport, but couldn't find it. The habitat looks good for it, but it may have moved slightly. Grasshopper, Vesper and Brewer's Sparrows were there though.
One of my favorite spots in the area is the Chamokane Creek wetland along Martha Boardman Rd, barely within Stevens Co coming from Reardan (SR 231). A curious horse with no master was roaming around the trail on the west side of the creek. Highlights here were a few Yellow-breasted Chats, many Veery and Hammond's, Pacific-slope and Gray Flycatcher, but that doesn't reflect how active the area was.
2 male Bobolinks were just east of Valley along Waitts Lake Rd.
I dipped on the Black Terns at the Colville STP, but got Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Wilson's Phalarope and many Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
A che-becking LEAST FLYCATCHER was about 0.5mi east of Rice in the aspen-patch on the north side of Orin-Rice Rd.
Entering Ferry Co from its east coast with the Gifford-Inchelium ferry, I lucked out on 2 pairs of Wood Ducks in the Inchelium STP. I then took Bridge Ck Rd towards the Sanpoil. A cute snowshoe hare didn't care about me slowly driving by it along the high elevations of Bridge Ck Rd. When I reached the intersection with SR21, it was 6:30pm. Nevertheless, I found no less then 5 American Redstarts and Ruffed Grouse seemed to be drumming continuously. I noted my first Common Nighthawk of the season at around 7:30pm. What a great place!
Early Sunday morning, I worked the Sanpoil and found a singing Northern Waterthrush at MP 150.5.
I then raced up Sherman Pass. Birding was active, but I didn't find anything unusual up there.
A Eurasian Collared Dove was on the wire along Klondike Rd. At Mudd Lake, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Cinnamon Teal, a female Barrow's Goldeneye and finally a couple of singing Marsh Wrens.
Along the Sanpoil again later in the day, I discovered several White-throated Swifts up the cliff face at MP153. Red-eyed Vireos were singing everywhere. What a treasure the Sanpoil is!!!
Finally, just before boarding the Keller ferry, I watched 7 snoozing Western Grebes near where the Sanpoil Arm spills out into the Columbia (still Ferry Co though). A few Gray Flycatchers were chaloop'ing in the area of the Swawilla Basin Rd turn-off.
Yesterday, just after entering Ferry Co, I finally reached 100 species in every WA county. I completed this feat for OR a few years ago and will now be able to focus on CA where I'm close to 2/3 done. Some folks never stop ...
Stefan SchlickHillsboro, OR
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