[Tweeters] 4-day trip from Portland to the extreme NE corner of Washington state

Stefan Schlick greenfant at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 27 13:12:41 PDT 2021

The four of us embarked on a trip from Portland, OR, to Mt. Salmo. The weather was awesome, so we were able to try for the prize, Boreal Owl, at Mt. Salmo. On our last 2 attempts were had been snowed out.

On 9/23 we lucked out in that Dave Swayne had just found a Tennessee Warbler at Bassett Park in Washtucna. We got good, yet brief looks. Pacific Wren, Wilson's and Townsend's Warbler, at least 2 Hammond's Flycatchers and a Fox Sparrow all were nice. A Pectoral Sandpiper was at the Washtucna STP.

On 9/24, a Greater Scaup was at Eloika Lake early morning. A Northern Goshawk was migrating south along the Pend Oreille River near Manresa Grotto. Overall, the birding along the river was pretty slow. In the afternoon we headed up Mt. Salmo and had no problems finding Boreal Chickadee, White-winged Crossbill and Pine Grosbeak. The sunrise was nothing short of magical. A tip by a really nice guy yielded different call notes, the primary song (!), the squeeew call and amazing visuals of Boreal Owl at an undisclosed location somewhere at Mt. Salmo.

We went back up again to Mt. Salmo on 9/25 and again found Boreal Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak and many White-winged Crossbill. A pair of adult WW Xbills was feeding a young bird which must have fledged not too long ago. Hoary and Green Commas plus California Tortoiseshell all were near the pass on the road, as well a Pacific Wren. No luck with any grouse other than 7 sightings of Ruffed.

On our trip home we hit the shorebird bonanza at Sheep Lake which included Baird's, Stilt and Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Black-bellied Plover. Returning Sandhill Cranes were at Lind Coulee. Gray Partridges flushed up at our viewpoint at Sprague Lake. At Potholes SP we found Eared and Clark's Grebe, but no terns or small gulls.

117 species, with some excellent looks at boreal targets. We stayed in Metaline Falls at the Circle Motel which I can very much recommend.

Stefan Schlick & Randy Hill

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