[Tweeters] Birding east of the Cascades

byers345 at comcast.net byers345 at comcast.net
Tue Jun 25 08:55:17 PDT 2019

Hello Tweeters,

While it remained cloudy and cool in western Washington last
week, Bill and I headed east on Thursday to try our luck with the birds
there. After lunch at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery (windy), we headed
north to the Okanogan area. We drove the Cameron Lake Road from south to
north. Aside from lots of beautiful teal and Redheads, we found over 40
American Pelicans at Duley Lake. We came back in the afternoon the next
day, but only a few were left.

On Friday we decided to head up to Canada to bird at Lake Vaseux. There was
no line at all going or coming across the border. The border agents on both
sides asked us lots of questions, though. I suppose we might have looked
suspicious. Lake Vaseux, about 30 miles north on Highway 97, has a nice
bird observation area including a boardwalk and an observation tower. It's
probably not the best season for ducks there, but you can get close views of
Black-headed Grosbeaks and Gray Catbirds. The scenery here is wonderful
too, and there is also the option to stop and many places for wine tasting.
Lots of fresh fruit too, but we weren't sure if we could bring it back to
the US.

We spent Saturday in the Okanogan Highlands. Wildflowers were blooming
everywhere and scenery was really beguiling. We stopped at the Highland
Sno-park, near Havillah. We always look for the Great Gray Owl here, but we
haven't seen one since 2005. We did get a shot of a female Williamson's
Sapsucker, which I think are here every year. Otherwise the usual birds you
would find in a forest at 4,500 feet-Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western
Tanager, and the like. We at lunch at Molson. There were hundreds of
Yellow-headed Blackbirds nesting there. We usually see a Common Loon there.
This time there were 2 and quite close to the lake shore. Another bonus.

Our route homeward was across the North Cascades. We usually stop for a cup
of coffee at the Washington Pass Overlook to say hi to the Canada Jays
there. I think they have become completely spoiled by tourists feeding them
as they will land on your hand to take nuts. (How do I know this, you ask!)
But unexpectedly, though not rare here, was the female American Three-toed
Woodpecker that dropped by to work on trees right next to our picnic table.
For me this is an "I've died and gone to heaven" moment. Lots of photos!

Anyway, as you might expect, I have put the best of our bird photos plus
several of critters and two Badgers, in a Flickr album that you can access
by clicking below. The badgers were a huge bonus on day two. We found them
on Cameron Lake Road. They didn't seem to worried about us and we kept our
distance from them.


Wishing all of you the best birding, Charlotte Byers, Edmonds

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