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9614Toppenish this morning

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  • Scott Downes
    Oct 14, 2013
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      Did a quick tour of Marion Drain and US 97 this morning. A couple of notables:
      The flooded field just west of Old Goldendale and Marion Drain had 13 Pectoral Sandpiper types and about 15 Greater White-fronted Geese (some were down in a small creek behind the field so the count could have been anywhere from 14 (that I counted for certain) up to a few more. I said Pectoral Sandpiper types as I got on these birds and began to scope through them about the time a harrier flushed the flock to the SW. The birds I had scope already were Pectoral and all appeared to be similar in flight (as viewed through the scope). However, given this large number a careful examination of each bird would be nice to rule out a rare Sharp-tailed.Sharp-tailed are similar enough that in flight through a scope it is not possible that I ruled out that species for all the birds.  I drove down Old Goldendale but could not relocate the flock. Anybody in that area might keep an eye out for them.
      At the willow on US 97 there is a large pond behind the green gate. There was a good sized flock of Canada Geese (~115) but no other geese. The notable here was 11 dowitchers (assumed Long-billed but the distance was great). Apparently a nice movement of Long-billed Dowitcher through the county as I also had 5 Long-billed at Wenas Lake yesterday.
      A nice morning to be out.
      Scott Downes
      Yakima WA