[Tweeters] Okanogan Venture (Day 3 - tardy)

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Mon Jan 2 17:20:45 PST 2017

Hi Tweets - OK this is a little late, but just thought it might be of interest for anyone making an early 2017 trip. On Thursday (Dec. 29), we got up to Scotch Cr WMA about 930 am. Scanning from the U-Bar-U Overlook, we quickly spotted a couple of Sharp-tailed Grouse in the tops of cottonwoods along the creek. Looking farther downstream, there was another tree with at least 22 birds! We continued on to Concunully, but, like Stefan Schlick, we were a little underwhelmed by the number of species there. Heading back down the valley about 11, those grouse were gone, but we headed up Happy Hill Rd. Descending down through the mostly burned up forested south slope, we found 5 rather cooperative Ruffed Grouse in the dense riparian brush along the road and they let us get a couple of decent photos. No luck finding woodpeckers or finches down the entirety of Salmon Creek Rd. to Okanogan (the town), or ascending Cameron Lk. Rd. up to the Timentwa Plateau. The Plateau, was grand in snow and frost, but remarkably bird-free. No Gray Partridge or Snow Buntings to be seen. No birds whatsoever in the nice copse of trees that straddles the road a few miles in - this place has been good for multiple species, often including Am. Tree Sparrows in the past. A nice flock of white-throated Horned Larks just past the first farm heading east on Timentwa Road, and scattered flocks of HOLA beyond were about it, but we did have a nice low flyover by an adult Golden Eagle. One more stop at the feeders in Bridgeport failed to find the Harris's Sparrow, so we headed into the snow for a slow drive over Stevens. Only one FOY for the trip, but a great 3 days of birding, nonetheless. Happy Birding! Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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