[Tweeters] Waterville Plateau and Okanogan Highlands Fri 2/12-Sun 2/14

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 19:56:07 PST 2021

Dear Tweets,

Scott Ramos and I are back at it for another weekend in the snowy Waterville Plateau and Okanogan Highlands.

On Friday 2/12 we saw 2 Snowy Owl around Atkins Lake. We had two nice flocks of 300+ Horned Lark both with several Snow Bunting and a few Lapland Longspur, one near Heritage Rd and 6th Road directly north of Atkins Lake, another at 8th Rd and SR 17. There were plenty of Rough-legged Hawk, we also saw Gray Partridge.

On Saturday, we observed three Sharp-tailed Grouse at the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area from the pullout just west of Happy Hill Road at 10:30am in the Water Birch. The Townsend’s Solitaire remains in Conconully. Canyon Wren was singing at the rock butte along the Riverside cut-off. McLaughlin Canyon/Janis Road Orchard was very birdy with American Tree Sparrow, but no Waxwings. We darted up to Mary Ann Creek and observed Pine Grosbeak x 4 east of the Christian Camp and along our way picked up Ruffed Grouse and two Northern Pygmy-Owl. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch x 12 were seen along Hungry-Hollow Road just north of a cattle ranch. The birds were roosting in a barn immediately adjacent to the east side of the road with a horse and donkey.

On Sunday, we had nice looks of Chukar and Golden Eagle on Fancher Road. The real exciting surprise was Siwash Creek. While enjoying a flock of 250 Common Redpolls feeding on the Water Birch, one of our birders noticed over 20 Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Pine Trees on the hill north of the gulch. We watched the grouse fly into the water birch and feed, a real treat. North Siwash was good for Pygmy Nuthatch. The Hungry Hollow Feeder and Nealy Road Feeder were busy with expected Mountain Chickadee and American Goldfinch. We also saw Downy and Hairy, Pine Siskin and Red-winged Blackbird. Nealy Road Feeder had three Ruffed Grouse and a large flock 30 plus of Red Crossbills in conifer just north. We are still debating if there were a few White-winged Crossbills in the mix.

Tomorrow the Waterville Plateau again. Safe driving in the snow!

Happy birding,

Shep Thorp, VMD
Family Guy, Emergency Veterinarian, Birder
Browns Point, Tacoma

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