[Tweeters] Snowy Plateau (long?)

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Thu Feb 14 21:35:35 PST 2019

Hi Tweets - So... today, thinking that the snow was leaving the Puget Sound lowlands, Kathleen and I headed east. We ran into snow before we got to Steven's Pass and it hasn't stopped yet (9 pm in Omak). We stopped for a walkabout at the Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth - it was lovely (as always) but seemed to be bird free. For lunch we went to Confluence State Park in Wenatchee but could find no White-fronted among the many waterfowl present. On the Waterville plateau it was snowing and blowing hard; several flocks along the highway seemed to be all HOLA. We went east through Waterville on 2 to Road L East or Heritage Rd near the alledged Atkins Lk. where Khanh reported a couple of Snowy Owls recently. Driving to the north and searching hard for a white bird in white fields through white air, we finally saw some wildlife in the form of a jack rabbit that jumped into the road and ran ahead of the car. We crept along behind it stopping to search the fields for anomalous whiteness. I mentioned that the bunny was a little vulnerable out there and K asked, well who would be after such a relatively large critter? I said, well of course RL or RT Hawks or certainly a SNOWY OWL. About a minute later, the latter came out of the whiteness in hot pursuit of the bunny who did an admirable job of desperate dodging and made it back up the road to our car. The owl landed in the road just behind the car and I got a decent picture in the rear view mirror! After a bit, I drove forward slowly, hoping not to squish the bunny, and the pursuit resumed. The bunny managed to get off the road and under some old farm equipment and we left the scene with the owl perched on a sign post (better pictures) waiting for Mr. Bunny to expose himself. We went north on 17, then east through Mansfield, and down Bridgeport Hill Rd. Regrettably, no Sharp-tailed Grouse, despite the perfect snowy late afternoon conditions. Ditto for Bridgeport SP: we couldn't find any No.Saw Whet or other owls in many trees searched. I'm betting (and hoping) that Shep and the WOS group do much better tomorrow!! - Happy Birding! Jon Houghton, Edmonds

Sent from my Verizon Motorola Smartphone
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