[Tweeters] Eastern Washington Birds
thefedderns at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 21:25:23 PDT 2018
Sorry for the late posting, but I birded in Eastern Washington on Sunday
and Monday - 4/8-9. It rained all the way past Cle Elum on I-90 with
standing water in places and wet snow at Snoqualmie Pass. My first stop in
the rain, was at the Railroad Ponds in Cle Elum. First bird was a rather
bedraggled, wet Osprey on a snag by the ponds and the railroad tracks. A
little further, an adult Bald Eagle was studying the lunch menu: Canada
Geese, Mallards, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks and a pair of Barrows
Goldeneyes! Many Violet-green Swallows and a surprising number of Northern
Rough-winged Swallows, with a few Tree Swallows were feeding low over the
water. I had hoped to find Pygmy Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, Western
Bluebird and Hairy Woodpecker across from the ponds without luck . I tried
again on the way home on Monday afternoon, again without success.
I briefly stopped at the "Dipper Bridge" over the Teanaway River on SR 10.
Even though the river was running high, a pair of American Dippers were
busy delivering food to their brood under the bridge. A beautiful male
Hooded Merganser was on the nearby pond. The only birds at the cliff on SR
10, were six Turkey Vultures enjoying the wind. A little further down, I
ran into the first Black-billed Magpies. I took Old Vantage Highway out of
Ellensburg and saw several Mountain Bluebirds around nest boxes. A stop at
Quilomene WMA produced three singing Sagebrush Sparrows, but no Sage
Thrashers. The resident Say's Phoebe greeted me at Ginkgo State Park.
Except for a couple of nice male "Audubon" Yellow-rumped Warblers, it was
still quiet. A Townsend's Solitaire in the trees along the Columbia River
at the cliffs at Rocky Coulee Rec area below Ginkgo SP was a nice surprise!
On the way to Birder's Corner, I had my only Long-billed Curlew flying
across 7 SW Street. Most noteworthy bird at Birder's Corner was a male
Yellow-headed Blackbird. As noted in a previous e-mail, There were good
numbers of Sandhill Cranes flying into a stubble field about a mile west of
Birder's Corner, on the north side of 7 SW. I also saw the dark phase
Swainson's Hawk along Dodson Road both days, however a roadkill beaver was
gone on Monday! I was unsuccessful to find Sage Thrashers along 4 SW Street
on both days.
Birding at Potholes State Park on Monday was good, but the highlight were
two large groups of Snow Geese flying over, heading east. It was a
beautiful sight, the clear blue sky filled with the white birds with black
wing tips! They had announced their arrival with their calls and busy
chattering. On to the Para Ponds were there were large numbers of Cackling
Geese and hardly any ducks. A young black bull chased some of the
protesting geese off his land into the water. I did see two male
Yellow-headed Blackbirds there and a Marsh Wren was singing his heart out.
I did check LeMaster's - and Reynolds Roads for Burrowing Owl and
Long-billed Curlews as previously reported by Stefan Schlick, but was
unsuccessful. A single American Avocet was almost missed among the
thousands of Cackling Geese at County Line Ponds. In addition there were
many Northern Pintails at that location.
Driving down Corfu Road, I found a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes, several
Western Meadowlarks and three Wilson's Snipe. I could hear Sandhill Cranes
trumpeting along Lower Crab Creek road, but saw only one small formation.
I wonder if anybody else noticed, what appears to be an increase of Common
Ravens? I also saw good numbers of Northern Harriers and fair numbers of
Twin Lakes/Federal Way, WA
thefedderns at gmail.com
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