[Tweeters] Klickitat County spring birding

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Mon May 9 21:35:24 PDT 2022

Hey Tweets and Inland NW Birders,

I've continued to bird Klickitat County this year, and am in the midst of getting caught up on blogging. In March, I did some patchwork birding which has been blogged at www.klickitatcountybirding.blogspot.com<http://www.klickitatcountybirding.blogspot.com>, followed by a day hiking up Grayback Mountain, a site which sadly is no longer available for public access. Other mountains in the area may hold some of the same types of birds, however, so it's worth reporting Wild Turkey, Sooty and Ruffed Grouse, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Cassin's and House Finches, among other species that were had, along with great views of elk, Mount Adams, and coyotes.

April was a shutout - I just couldn't make it over - but May was amazing, with 60+ species added to the year list (now at 168). Friday included a drive from Goldendale to Bickleton. There's quite a good mix of habitat along the way, and I came across many first of year warblers (Nashville, Orange-crowned, Yellow), flycatchers (Western Kingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, Gray, Hammond's), and sparrows (Chipping, Vesper) along the way, as well as Cassin's Vireo, House Wren, and a Great Egret in a farm field early in the drive.

Birding the Eastern end of the county was productive as well, with Loggerhead Shrike, and more sparrows: Brewer's and Sagebrush on Sand Ridge Road, and Lark Sparrow on Six Prong Road.

Trout Lake was home base for Saturday and Sunday. Kevin Black and I birded the area, including Conboy, Panakanick Road, the Glenwood Mill Pond, and Trout Lake itself. Soras were the totem bird for the trip. At Conboy and the Mill Pond, we had them walking around in plain sight. The Mill Pond also gave us American Bittern, Virginia Rail, and a Red-naped Sapsucker. Woodpeckers were otherwise tough birds for us. We'd seen eBird reports from Conboy with pictures of some good ones, including White-headed and Black-backed, but had only Pileated and Northern Flicker there on the Willard Springs Trail.

We finished our birding together at Goldendale, where we visited Low Brow Pond. This, tongue placed firmly in our cheeks, is the new "official" name of the pond along Crafton Road outside of Goldendale. It's adjacent to the Goldendale Sewage Lagoons, which are not generally available for public viewing. We had good sources letting us know that some of the birds (especially shorebirds) do make their way over to Low Brow Pond during their stay, so we gave it a shot, and did come away with a Killdeer, a Least Sandpiper, and a Greater Yellowlegs, which did indeed fly in from the pond while we were there.

124 species for the trip. Not bad at all, especially given forecasts of rain and snow, both​ of which came through over the weekend.


Tim Brennan
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