[Tweeters] Garfield County, 28-29 Oct

Bob rflores_2 at msn.com
Fri Nov 1 10:47:35 PDT 2019


I spent two days concentrating on the Snake River area. I started at the Port of Garfield, Hwy 127 x Snake River where I found 3 horned grebe, 15 western grebe, 8 bufflehead, 1 pied-billed grebe, 12 mallard, 13 American coot, 26 double-crested cormorants rafting in the backwaters of the Port area off the river channel. While there a great blue heron flew by and 12 white-crowned sparrows fed on grain spilled off trucks as they turned on to the Port entrance road. I then went to Willow Landing Road drove it to the river and although ducks were absent I did find some good birds. Along the way I found 21 American goldfinch, 4 pine siskin, a flock of about 15 sandhill cranes that were flying high overhead, 44 house finch, 5 northern flicker, 15 white- crowned sparrow, a red-tailed hawk, 1 sharp-shinned hawk, 180 European starling, 1 mourning dove, a American kestrel, 1 lesser goldfinch, 2 ring-necked pheasant, 2 black-billed magpie, 6 song sparrow and a lone northern shrike. On the river I found only 3 pied-billed grebe and 6 American coot the lack of ducks probably due to camping hunters at the landing. My intent was to spend the late afternoon and evening searching for owls but a strong wind storm sprang up and made it impossible to see far or hear anything I abandoned the day. The next morning I found a rough-legged hawk along Hwy 124 and at the Port of Garfield I found the usual suspects but also 2 lesser scaup in with the rafting flock. Across from the hwy from the Port facilities there is a bay where I found a female hooded merganser, male Barrow's goldeneye and a Female American widgeon roosting along the east shoreline. I then drove Ping Gulch Rd to the river although I found no new County birds I did have the following. A sharp-shinned hawk, 9 black-billed magpie, 11 white-crowned sparrow, 13 house finch, 1 American robin, 8 dark-eyed junco, 5 song sparrow, 2 northern flicker, a rough-legged hawk, 2 common raven, 4 American kestrel, 4 rock pigeon, a northern harrier,2 red-tailed hawk, 6 European starling, 2 American goldfinch, 14 mourning dove and a single house sparrow. My next stop on this beautiful day was Rice Bar Hill Rd this road had the best upland/riparian like habitat on my trip. It should be very good in the spring and fall migration especially a small spring about half way down the hill leading to the river. I found 8 black-capped chickadee, a varied thrush, 12 song sparrow, 15 white-crowned sparrow, 26 house finch, a bald eagle harassing a flock of 50 bufflehead on the river, 4 western grebe,7 northern flicker, 2 red-tailed hawk, 4 common raven, 8 California quail, 2 dark-eyed junco, 2 black-billed magpie, 2 lesser goldfinch and 10 American goldfinch. I ended my day at Lower Granite Dam where I found 35 hooded merganser, 30 bufflehead and 60 mallards roosting in the river. With basalt cliffs along the road near the dam I decided to play a recording of chukar to hope for a response which never came but to my surprise at one location a rock wren yelled back at me it was a great bird for the day.

Bob Flores
Ridgefield, WA


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