[Tweeters] WWCo. 4th of July Big Day
Mike & MerryLynn
m.denny at charter.net
Thu Jul 5 10:12:44 PDT 2018
Started our 4th of July Walla Walla County BIG DAY with WESTERN
SCREECH-OWL across the street as we were loading our vehicle at 3:20 am.
David Ward from Olympia joined us for the day - which was a huge help!
We ended with 147 species - our highest ever.
Headed up into the Blue Mountains - hearing many birds before dawn. Up
higher GRAY JAYS surprised us - rare in WWCo. Then out to the Millet
Pond where 14 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were catching bugs over the trees. David
spotted a SOLITARY SANDPIPER out in the mudflats. Shorebirds were in off
Dodd Rd - including RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, LEAST, WESTERN SEMIPALMATED
AND BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS among the usual BLACK-NECKED
STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and many Killdeer.
At the Port of Wallula were Western Grebes plus 1 CLARK'S GREBE. Down in
Wallula Gap the WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS were very vocal and visible - over
2 dozen of them. Picked up all the usual waterfowl at McNary NWR
including 1 CANVASBACK. Many BANK SWALLOWS were staging right on
Humorist Road - to the east - and a dozen were roadkilled by cars - and
this is a dead end road, so sad.
Heading back to the Blue Mountains we drove through the center of the
county where several GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were posing on fencelines. Our
surprise here was a singing BREWER'S SPARROW.
Quick stop at home for LESSER GOLDFINCH - have at least 15 every day now
- showed up in January and never left. Then up Mill Creek for DIPPER,
hummingbirds and back up into the mountains for woodpeckers and ended
the day with GREAT GRAY OWL family, calling PYGMY and SAW-WHET OWLS. Had
more swallows in the roads - in one place over 300.
Worst misses - Steller's Jay, Belted Kingfisher, Canyon Wren, Common
Merganser, Wilson's Phalarope, American Wigeon, Williamson's Sapsucker
(haven't found ANY in the county this year - had several nesting last
year), Common Loon (a few usually summer on the Columbia)
Fun day - all 19+ hours of it! Mammals included Deer, Elk, Raccoon,
Snowshoe Hare, Coyote, Big Brown Bat, Little Brown Myotis. A RUBBER BOA
was also a highlight - our first live one of the year. We were welcomed
home with a fireworks show!
Good summer birding, M&ML
Mike & MerryLynn Denny
Birding the Beautiful Walla Walla Valley
"If you haven't gone birding, you haven't lived"
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