[Tweeters] Birding near the Snake River, 29 Oct 2017 [mostly Columbia Co]

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 30 05:24:50 PDT 2017

Hi all -
I spent Sunday mostly along the Snake River, hoping for some migrants — after a lot of fog in the morning, it turned out to be a pretty excellent day:

Blue Jay — Palouse Falls SP, Franklin Co. — easily relocated the Blue Jay reported on eBird from this location Saturday - it was working the campground area, calling loudly.

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Lewis & Clark SP, Columbia Co. - A mobbing flock alerted me to this one - hanging out just east of the parking lot in some brambles, with a vole in its talons and all puffed out at the irate little birds.

Bonaparte’s Gull - one along Little Goose Dam Rd. on the Columbia side early afternoon, then 15 across the river in Whitman Co near the dam. Later, presumably the same big flock was hanging out near the mouth of the Tucannon.

Pacific Loon - 2 - at the dam outflow area — one hung out in the ‘gray area’ between county line approximations, one was actively feeding and was kind enough to swim around in both Whitman and Columbia waters — both were still showing some of their silver coloration.

Tundra Swans - 14 - well east of Littlle Goose Landing [east of the dam]— they were resting on the river on the Whitman side, so I settled in and waited until they’d made their way across the river — oh the fun of county listing.

American Tree Sparrows - a couple at Little Goose Landing — while waiting for the swans to move, a couple came in to investigate — I’ve had them there in previous winters, so probably a reliable ATSP spot.

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch — 2 big flocks — At 4:30, a big flock was working the cliffs at about mp 6 along Little Goose Dam Rd. - great looks. Later, a flock was along the cliffs west of the mouth of the Tucannon, near the grain elevator — both flocks had over 50 birds in them.

Good fall birding,

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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