[Tweeters] Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan Thurs.-Sat.

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Sat Feb 27 21:57:26 PST 2016

My quick trip to north-central Washington has been really good. I’ve had zero success with the G’s – no Gyrfalcon, Goshawk, nor Great Gray Owl. But otherwise, I’ve done pretty well:

Thursday, I had a COMMON REDPOLL near the end of Prowell Rd., off Icicle Rd. south of downtown Leavenworth. Also two AMERICAN DIPPERS in the river there.

And Thursday evening I heard a WESTERN SCREECH-OWL about 3.8 miles up Number 2 Canyon Rd., out of Wenatchee.

Friday, there was a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Lincoln Rock State Park, as well as a HUGE flock of DARK-EYED JUNCOS with one or two SLATE-COLORED birds. Also, many VARIED THRUSH, gleaming in the morning sun.

At Beebe Springs Natural Area, Chelan Co., I heard a VIRGINIA RAIL calling. I then backtracked across the river and headed up McNeil Canyon Rd. in Douglas Co., where I had my first MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD of the year.

At the row of trees at about Road 8 NW and Road I NW (west of Lamoine, WNW of Withrow) I was stunned to see about three TREE SWALLOWS flying up the draw over totally snow-covered ground. I will say that it was blindingly sunny, and warm enough that I didn’t need more than a sweater. In the tree row, I got several glimpses of a LONG-EARED OWL. It did not want to be seen.

Over to northeast of Mansfield, I found a gorgeous SNOWY OWL just NE of the intersection of H and 17th. I then headed down towards Okanogan County on Bridgeport Hills Rd., where I found a flock of 27 GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH before dropping off the plateau.

I ended the day with a gorgeous WESTERN BLUEBIRD up Central Ferry Canyon, and then booked it all the way up to Tonasket.

Today, I headed out to the Okanogan Highlands, before dropping back down and driving Cameron Lake Rd.

On Fancher Rd., (just a little NE of Tonasket off the Havillah Rd), I heard my first SAY’S PHOEBE of the year. Turned out they were EVERYWHERE I went in Okanogan County today. Also heard CHUKAR and CANYON WREN there, and crossed paths with Khan Trann, the first of quite a few times during the morning.

There is a little draw near a house about 7.8 miles up the Havillah Rd. from US-97 that is often birdy. Today’s surprise there was a WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER.

There were also RED CROSSBILLS *singing* there, and pretty much everywhere with pine trees today. But besides those, and lots of Say’s Phoebes, and both Bluebirds, there really wasn’t much around in the Highlands. I did have another unexpected encounter with a TREE SWALLOW, up at Molson, with a lone bird flying around the old school, over snow-covered ground in the sunshine. It was 41 degrees. And a few miles west of Molson there were some CLARK’S NUTCRACKERS.

>From there, I headed south. I made a brief stop at the Ellisford Bridge area, and was rewarded with a singing BEWICK’S WREN. There’s a track that runs out to the north about half way between US-97 and the bridge. The track forks almost immediately, and I went right and followed the track all the way up to the river. There’s an a-frame feeding structure there, and the Bewick’s was right near it.

Then down to Cameron Lake Rd., which was pretty quiet all the way down to Timentwa Rd. I ended up driving Timentwa many miles until it started to drop off the plateau. No Gyr or Gos, but I did have a flock of about 40 COMMON REDPOLLS foraging on some very rocky ground with not even a tall weed nearby, let alone a bush or tree. They were very pretty! I also spotted a flock of about 150 SNOW BUNTINGS far off to the south of the road. Both of these flocks were several miles past the cattle ranch where Snow Buntings were so prevalent in January.

Heading out on the southern part of Cameron Lake Rd., I found a much smaller flock of about 6 SNOW BUNTINGS right next to the road, mixed with the ubiquitous HORNED LARKS.

So I’m spending the night in Chelan, and I’m supposed to meet up with my wife tomorrow afternoon at Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula. There is much driving in my future.

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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