[Tweeters] Eastside trip to Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin Counties

Bob rflores_2 at msn.com
Sun Sep 2 19:21:14 PDT 2018

Randy Hill and I had a quick trip to search for County birds in Garfield and Asotin Counties along the way we found some good birds in Walla Walla and Columbia County as well.

Our quick over night trip began 30 August with a afternoon stop at the Millet Pond on McNary NWR, Walla Walla Co. to look for the previously reported black phoebe. The phoebe was a no show but at the blind area we did find some interesting birds. In the main unit we counted 11 white-faced ibis. At the blind we found the following warblers Townsend's, orange-crowned and yellow-rumped also lazuli buntings, pacific-sloped flycatcher, hairy and downy woodpecker, white-crowned sparrow and western tanager. I decide to imitate an owl to encourage more passerines to visit and a western screech owl chimed in from about 30 yards away in a cottonwood calling for quite a while. It quit and we found out soon why when we discovered a great horned owl. When we reached Dayton we decided to take a short cut on Turner Rd through Columbia Co. we were about 200 yards from the Garfield Co. line when we stopped to scope a sparrow on the side of the road. This was a lucky stop as we scoped the bird, a vesper sparrow, we were joined by a grasshopper sparrow and a lesser goldfinch. We entered the Umatilla National Forest, FR 40 and 44, Garfield Co. found two Lewis woodpeckers floating around snags, a large forging flock contained chipping sparrow, orange-crowned and yellow-rumped warbler, Cassin's finch, dark-eyed junco. In the area around them red-breasted and white- breasted nuthatches called. Along the road we also found Clark's nutcracker, Stellar's jay. When we reached the ridgetop another forging flock produced ruby-crowned kinglet, red crossbill (type 4), Townsend's warbler, white-crowned sparrow, western tanager. We arrived at Wickiup Campground to find a osprey soaring along the ridgeline. The next morning, 31 August, around camp we found red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, Stellar's jay, American robin, Common Raven, Cassin's finch, northern flicker, dark-eyed junco, hairy woodpecker, mountain chickadee, white-crowned sparrow, ruby-crowned kinglet and a northern goshawk. We drove a few roads looking around and in Garfield Co. FR 4302 we found cordilleran flycatcher and FR 44 we had 4 gray jays. We entered Asotin Co. on FR 43 finding small scattered flocks that included red-breasted nuthatch, Cooper's and red-tailed hawk, dark-eyed junco, house wren, northern flicker, yellow-rumped warbler, American robin, Cassin's finch, red crossbill, pine siskin, chipping sparrow, brown creeper, common raven, William's sapsucker. Also later as we were leaving the National Forest on this road a northern harrier was hunting. Before we left the National Forest we visited the area around the Wennatchee Guard Station back in Garfield Co. we found the following red-breasted nuthatch, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglet, western tanager, hermit thrush, yellow-rumped and Townsend's warblers, Cassin's vireo, dark-eyed junco, pine siskin, white-crowned sparrow, Clark's nutcracker, brown creeper, and the following hawks; Coopers, sharp-shinned and northern goshawk. We left the National Forest heading to Asotin on Cloverland Road we saw American kestrel, vesper sparrow, savannah sparrow, Say's phoebe, mourning dove, northern harrier, Brewers and red-winged blackbird, European starling, ring-necked pheasant, western kingbird, mountain bluebird, western meadowlark, rock pigeon, barn swallow, house sparrow, sharp-shinned hawk, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, wild turkey and horned lark. In Asotin along the Snake river we found osprey, great-blue heron, Canada Goose, ring-billed and California gulls, northern shoveler, green-winged teal, mallard and killdeer. Tired and ready to head home we saw turkey vulture and wild turkey in Dayton, Columbia Co. I left off some common birds in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties but included all seen at locations in Garfield and Asotin Counties.

Bob Flores
Ridgefield, WA
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