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Horse Heaven Hills Audubon trip today

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  • Andy
    HORSE HEAVEN HILLS TO THE COLUMBIA 31 JANUARY 2004 Denny Granstrand led a bunch (18) of Yakima Auduboners on a caravan south to the Horse Heaven Hills. There
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2004
      HORSE HEAVEN HILLS TO THE COLUMBIA

      31 JANUARY 2004



      Denny Granstrand led a bunch (18) of Yakima Auduboners on a caravan south to the Horse Heaven Hills. There we searched for arctic specialties like Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspur. However, in the past week, virtually all the snow melted. Today, there were very few Horned Larks showing themselves, let alone any of the advertised specials. It was windy and cold, and no fun standing out in the barren wheatfields peering about. We did see Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Shrikes, consolation of sorts, but we wanted more.



      Denny wisely went to Plan B and we bailed out and down Rock Creek to the Columbia. As soon as we descended, temperatures warmed, there was no wind, and we saw lots of birds. Top on the list were Golden Eagles, at least seven of them! Bald Eagles, Cooper's, and Red-tailed Hawks were also seen. Other interesting sightings included Lewis's Woodpecker, Scrub Jay, Bewick's Wren, and a close-up and personal Porcupine. Mule Deer seemed to be everywhere. High over a grassland-covered ridge near several western junipers were 10 bluebirds flycatching in the warmth, too far to be identified to species. The waters at the mouth of Rock Creek swelled our list with ducks and coots.



      Upstream on the Columbia, we visited several spots around Roosevelt, seeing more waterfowl, loons, and grebes. Most stunning was an intimate study of the diving ducks loafing around the grain elevators there. We all had close views, in the brilliant sunshine, of various diving ducks including Ring-necked Duck, both scaups, both goldeneyes, and Bufflehead.



      Here's the list:



      Common Loon- 4

      Pied-billed Grebe - 5

      Horned Grebe - 5

      Great Blue Heron - 2

      Double-crested Cormorant - 2

      Canada Goose - 300

      Mallard - 30

      Gadwall - 25

      American Wigeon - 20

      Ring-necked Duck - 2

      Greater Scaup - 5

      Lesser Scaup - 30

      Common Goldeneye - 20

      Barrow's Goldeneye - 30

      Common Merganser - 5

      Bald Eagle - 5

      Northern Harrier - 3

      Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1

      Cooper's Hawk - 2

      Red-tailed Hawk - 10

      Rough-legged Hawk - 10

      Golden Eagle - 8

      American Kestrel - 7

      Prairie Falcon - 1

      Ring-necked Pheasant - 1

      American Coot - 250

      Ring-billed Gull - 300

      California Gull - 50

      Herring Gull - 5

      Glaucous-winged Gull - 2

      Rock Dove - 50

      Mourning Dove - 20

      Lewis's Woodpecker - 1

      Northern Flicker - 3

      Horned Lark - 300

      Scrub Jay - 5

      Black-billed Magpie - 10

      American Crow - 30

      Common Raven - 20

      Black-capped Chickadee - 5

      White-breasted Nuthatch - 3

      Bewick's Wren - 2

      Bluebird, sp. - 10

      Townsend's Solitaire - 1

      American Robin - 3

      Northern Shrike - 5

      European Starling - 150

      Song Sparrow - 5

      White-crowned Sparrow - 5

      Dark-eyed Junco - 30

      Red-winged Blackbird - 100

      Western Meadowlark - 10

      American Goldfinch - 3

      House Sparrow - 10



      Andy Stepniewski

      Wapato WA

      steppie@...




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael J Roper
      Hi Andy, Do you have any idea what the Golden Eagles were eating? Just wondering what would draw so many to one area. Mike
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2, 2004
        Hi Andy,
        Do you have any idea what the Golden Eagles were eating? Just wondering
        what would draw so many to one area.
        Mike

        On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 20:16:55 -0800 "Andy" <steppie@...> writes:
        > HORSE HEAVEN HILLS TO THE COLUMBIA
        >
        > 31 JANUARY 2004
        >
        >
        >
        > Denny Granstrand led a bunch (18) of Yakima Auduboners on a caravan
        > south to the Horse Heaven Hills. There we searched for arctic
        > specialties like Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspur. However, in the
        > past week, virtually all the snow melted. Today, there were very few
        > Horned Larks showing themselves, let alone any of the advertised
        > specials. It was windy and cold, and no fun standing out in the
        > barren wheatfields peering about. We did see Rough-legged Hawks and
        > Northern Shrikes, consolation of sorts, but we wanted more.
        >
        >
        >
        > Denny wisely went to Plan B and we bailed out and down Rock Creek to
        > the Columbia. As soon as we descended, temperatures warmed, there
        > was no wind, and we saw lots of birds. Top on the list were Golden
        > Eagles, at least seven of them! Bald Eagles, Cooper's, and
        > Red-tailed Hawks were also seen. Other interesting sightings
        > included Lewis's Woodpecker, Scrub Jay, Bewick's Wren, and a
        > close-up and personal Porcupine. Mule Deer seemed to be everywhere.
        > High over a grassland-covered ridge near several western junipers
        > were 10 bluebirds flycatching in the warmth, too far to be
        > identified to species. The waters at the mouth of Rock Creek swelled
        > our list with ducks and coots.
        >
        >
        >
        > Upstream on the Columbia, we visited several spots around Roosevelt,
        > seeing more waterfowl, loons, and grebes. Most stunning was an
        > intimate study of the diving ducks loafing around the grain
        > elevators there. We all had close views, in the brilliant sunshine,
        > of various diving ducks including Ring-necked Duck, both scaups,
        > both goldeneyes, and Bufflehead.
        >
        >
        >
        > Here's the list:
        >
        >
        >
        > Common Loon- 4
        >
        > Pied-billed Grebe - 5
        >
        > Horned Grebe - 5
        >
        > Great Blue Heron - 2
        >
        > Double-crested Cormorant - 2
        >
        > Canada Goose - 300
        >
        > Mallard - 30
        >
        > adwall - 25
        >
        > American Wigeon - 20
        >
        > Ring-necked Duck - 2
        >
        > Greater Scaup - 5
        >
        > Lesser Scaup - 30
        >
        > Common Goldeneye - 20
        >
        > Barrow's Goldeneye - 30
        >
        > Common Merganser - 5
        >
        > Bald Eagle - 5
        >
        > Northern Harrier - 3
        >
        > Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
        >
        > Cooper's Hawk - 2
        >
        > Red-tailed Hawk - 10
        >
        > Rough-legged Hawk - 10
        >
        > Golden Eagle - 8
        >
        > American Kestrel - 7
        >
        > Prairie Falcon - 1
        >
        > Ring-necked Pheasant - 1
        >
        > American Coot - 250
        >
        > Ring-billed Gull - 300
        >
        > California Gull - 50
        >
        > Herring Gull - 5
        >
        > Glaucous-winged Gull - 2
        >
        > Rock Dove - 50
        >
        > Mourning Dove - 20
        >
        > Lewis's Woodpecker - 1
        >
        > Northern Flicker - 3
        >
        > Horned Lark - 300
        >
        > Scrub Jay - 5
        >
        > Black-billed Magpie - 10
        >
        > American Crow - 30
        >
        > Common Raven - 20
        >
        > Black-capped Chickadee - 5
        >
        > White-breasted Nuthatch - 3
        >
        > Bewick's Wren - 2
        >
        > Bluebird, sp. - 10
        >
        > Townsend's Solitaire - 1
        >
        > American Robin - 3
        >
        > Northern Shrike - 5
        >
        > European Starling - 150
        >
        > Song Sparrow - 5
        >
        > White-crowned Sparrow - 5
        >
        > Dark-eyed Junco - 30
        >
        > Red-winged Blackbird - 100
        >
        > Western Meadowlark - 10
        >
        > American Goldfinch - 3
        >
        > House Sparrow - 10
        >
        >
        >
        > Andy Stepniewski
        >
        > Wapato WA
        >
        > steppie@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
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