[Tweeters] Southwestern Washington Goodies

Dalton Spencer offthehookflyshop at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 11 20:47:23 PDT 2019


Sorry for the late report but I am still recovering from two long days of birding and that "wondering" thing that people call Spring Forward.
Rachel Hudson and I spent SATURDAY down in the Vancouver Lowlands looking for some of the recent good birds seen there. We started the day off with a life bird for me. HARRIS'S SPARROW. The bird was hanging out with a group of Golden-Crowned Sparrows on the lake side of the triangle where Lower River Rd/HWY 501 meets Erwin O Reiger Memorial Highway. A BLACK PHOEBE was also in the area.
We drove down Lower River Rd to Bulrock Landing where we saw a mega flock of 6400 SNOW GEESE. Two blue morphs we nice to see but too distant for great looks. Several thousand CACKLING GEESE, hundreds of SANDHILL CRANES, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and MALLARDS added to the amazment and awe.
The End of Lower River Rd was mostly quiet. A pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS was nice to see. Sparrow flock was very far off but 7 SAVANNAH SPARROWS offered a nice first of year flock for me. No Snowy egret likely due to the hunting happening in tha area and thr high wind.
We tried Shillapoo Lake after that hoping for the Sagebrush Sparrow to show its head but no luck there. Instead we were greated by a beautiful Harlan's Red-Tailed Hawk. Atter doing some searching we believe that it is the same bird that was seen two months ago on Sauvie Island.
We left the Lowlands and headed back north via Ridgefield NWR which was really slow. The highlights included well over 200 swans with both Tundra and Trumpeter present.
I finally convinced Rachel that a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON in Western Washington was a worthy chase. The bird was super easy to see from Whalen Rd in the Woodland Bottoms.
The BLACK PHOEBES were not at there usual spot along the Lewis River. Instead we found one off the North end of Dike Access Rd at the farm with the pumphouse. Two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were other good finds. Both a dark morph and a light morph and always fun.
SUNDAY came around and we both really wanted to try for at least one of the many SAGEBRUSH SPARROWS along the Columbia River. Both of us needed them for our life lists. We figured the Bonneville one was the best bet. Turns out it was a super easy find. Also in the area was a pair of HORNED LARKS, a DUSKY CANADA GOOSE, and many many WESTERN MEADOWLARKS.
After finding that bird so easy we tried for the Steigerwald bird as well but dipped. The continuing SAY'S PHOEBE was a nice consolation price though.
On Saturday alone we had:

80 species5 Woodpecker species4 Zono Sparrows10 Sparrow Species total20 Species of Waterfowl
It was a really awesome weekend.

PHOTOS

HARRIS'S SPARROWhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53629777

SNOW GEESE AND banded CACKLING GEESEhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53631667
HARLAN'S RED-TAILED HAWKhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53643367

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53652560

SAGEBRUSH SPARROW, HORNED LARK, and DUSKY CANADA GOOSEhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53683763
SAY'S PHOEBEhttps://ebird.org/view/checklist/S53687007
Dalton Spencer and Rachel Hudson Centralia, and Chehalis, Washington 
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