[Tweeters] Lewis County Birding 4/21 (Tufted Duck, White-throated Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Rough-legged Hawk)

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 21 21:52:27 PDT 2018

Hey Tweets!

Kevin Black and I met early this morning to look for the Ross's Goose that had been playing around with the Cowlitz/Lewis border but had not luck. We did, as posted by Kevin, come across a Tufted Duck on Mandy Road, which was a great start to a great day. I joked as we made the decision to stop there for the possibility of a Greater Scaup, that we'd probably find a Redhead instead. Close enough? Mandy Road gave us a few first of year county birds - Common Yellowthroat (everywhere), Band-tailed Pigeons, and 15-20 Least Sandpipers in a puddle in a pasture, as well as Wood Duck, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, American Pipit, Wood Duck and Ruddy Duck - all at the gravel pit pond.

Our next stop was Napavine, following up on a White-throated Sparrow sighting. It seems to be using brambles over a stretch of 4-5 blocks or so, along the railroad tracks in downtown Napavine. It was my first time getting to hear one sing! Always fun to take a bird off of the "seen only" list and move it onto the good one.

We traveled east from there on Highway 508, and stopped at a produce stand in a rickety old barn next to a silo. We were treated to a sample of some delicious navel oranges, and I got my first view of a Barn Owl ... in a barn! The guy running the stand was happy to let us have a look, so stop by and buy some fruit and veggies and take a look.

We ran out to the East end of Riffe Lake, expecting to be surprised by what we found, and this great location met expectations. Our first surprise was a Vesper Sparrow, on a long walk to the water. We are still getting our bearings out there, but from Dave Hayden's site guide (www.wabirder.com/docs/Lewis_County_Hwy_12_D_Hayden_Site_guide_2016.pdf<http://www.wabirder.com/docs/Lewis_County_Hwy_12_D_Hayden_Site_guide_2016.pdf>) on wabirder.com, we thiiiiink it's the second stop mentioned on page 14. We had seen and heard so many Savannah Sparrows, but the Vesper just flew out onto a large log in the middle of the concrete path (which may be a waymarker of sorts if anyone needs one), and sat there posing for pictures for a few minutes before flying back into the tall grass - silent the whole time.

The second surprise was a Rough-legged Hawk! While walking back from the Vesper Sparrow, Kevin spotted it and we watched it off and on all the way until we were driving to the final boat launch, when we lost it. From the boat launch, we added Common Loon, Ring-billed Gull and Townsend's Solitaire to our year lists for the county. The TOSO was sadly a heard only bird, but was calling persistently from some perch across the water.

At Peters Road, we had Snipe (which seem to be peppered throughout Lewis County. I have already omitted 4 or so sightings from the day), Greater Yellowlegs, and Sora.

At this point, we went back to Toledo, where I had left my car, making a few stops on the way back with no really amazing results. I made stops in Centralia and Chehalis on the way back. Galvin Road had 5-10 Greater Yellowlegs in the flooded fields, and a Sora that called fairly actively while I was there. Goodrich Pond had a flock of wigeon, which included one Eurasian. The Centralia Steam Plant was my final stop, and gave me some Dunlin, and the geese I was *really* expecting to see since the start of the day: 25 Greater White-fronted Geese.

Happy birding!

Tim Brennan

By: Dave Hayden Ver. 1.0 (2016) Hwy. 12 (I-5 to White Pass)<http://www.wabirder.com/docs/Lewis_County_Hwy_12_D_Hayden_Site_guide_2016.pdf>
By: Dave Hayden Ver. 1.0 (2016) Hwy. 12 (I-5 to White Pass) This guide is designed not only to key in on certain species, but to point out places on

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