[Tweeters] Okanogan/Douglas Co WOS trip this last weekend

Stefan Schlick greenfant at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 17 15:00:33 PST 2017

This January's WOS trip for winter birds to Okanogan/Douglas Co saw us struggle a little bit this year, but in the end we came up with an acceptable list. Temperatures were generally lower than in previous years, with highs often only in the teens.

White-headed Woodpecker (2 at 777 Havillah Rd, Okanogan Highlands)
American Tree Sparrow (4 at 48.914366, -119.212703 at This-a-way Rd junction along Havillah Rd; Okanogan Highlands; 3 at Withrow grain elevators - east end; 2 in Lamoine)
Gray Partridge (7 flushed at Withrow grain elevator - east end)
Bohemian Waxwing (100 at Bridgeport Bar, 1 single bird at 48.914366, -119.212703; flock of 80 along 17 north of Bridgeport, 5 at Foster Ck wildlife area; 18 in Lamoine)
American Dipper (1 in Chesaw, Okanogan Highlands; several along Twisp River Rd)
Northern Pygmy-Owl (2 near Chesaw, Okanogan Highlands)
Sharp-tailed Grouse (20+ at Foster Creek WA, ~30 at Scotch Ck WA)
Northern Sawwhet-Owl (1 at Bridgeport SP)
Snow Bunting (at least 30 mixed in with a large Horned Lark Flock along Rd F NW around 47.782513, -119.878118)
Golden Eagle (2 flybys in Conconully)
Merlin (1 in Bridgeport; 1 at Bridgeport Bar)
Ruffed Grouse (1 bird near Chesaw cemetery, courtesy of Ken Brown's group)
Pygmy Nuthatches, 2 Great Horned Owls (Central Ferry Canyon)
Eared Grebe (1 at Bridgeport Bar)

Without trip participants, shortly before or after:

3 Trumpeter Swans, 4 Barrow's Goldeneye (Beebe Bridge - Chelan Co side)
Lapland Longspur (2 just north of Withrow along 172)
Barrow's Goldeneye (Okanogan River bridge along 20 in Okanogan)

The Okanogan Highlands and Conconully were overall very poor this year. Finches were simply absent everywhere. No pure Snow Bunting flock was seen by anybody I know of this season. After last year's partridge bonanza, they were difficult this year, probably attributed to low snow depth. American Tree Sparrows, Bohemian Waxwing and Sharp-tailed Grouse are continuing their strong showing this winter season.

Unexpectedly, we had a hard time getting into Washburn Island. All parking spots were taken by hunters and there was no place to turn around. So, beware ... In particular with a group.

The Russian Olives at Grange & Moe (Bridgeport Bar) have recently been cut down. This is the location where a feeder has for many years attracted a large sparrow flock. The flock albeit smaller was still present however.

Thanks to Ken Brown for his tips, especially for Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspur.

Stefan Schlick
Hillsboro, OR

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