Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Sabine's and Western Gulls at Priest Rapids-14 September

Expand Messages
  • Andy Stepniewski
    Yakkers, Ellen, Richard Repp, and myself spent the day out at Priest Rapids Lake, approaching the lake from the Yakima Training Center side. Our main
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14, 2008
      Yakkers,

      Ellen, Richard Repp, and myself spent the day out at Priest Rapids Lake,
      approaching the lake from the Yakima Training Center side. Our main
      highlight were two immature SABINE'S GULLS which we repeatedly saw near the
      Yakima County shore and out to mid channel but not on the Grant County side.
      Nearby on the lake was our first of fall Herring Gull. We also had a
      first-year WESTERN GULL below the dam.

      Gobs of young grebes, maybe ~ 75, scattered on the lake, were either Eared
      or Horned. These birds challenged us! We ascribed most as Horned though this
      count is clearly very high for so early in the season. Ellen took a photo.
      We can send a jpeg to who wishes to study these and help us solve this
      question.

      We birded riparian habitat along Alkali Creek and also locust and willow
      thickets along the lake edge. Migrants were few but after repeated efforts
      we did amass a list of the regular warblers.

      Chukars seemed to be everywhere today. We noted multiple coveys, with 6-10
      almost-grown "teenagers." In all we saw 75 Chukars! It seems evident this
      chicken had a fine breeding success this year.

      Ellen and I were deeply saddened by an extensive burn sometime this summer
      along upper Cold Creek, riparian habitat that was formerly a wonderful place
      for migrants and shrub-steppe birds. Use of live fire during military
      training continues through the driest months each year burning more critical
      habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and many other shrub-steppe species. In
      fact, live fire exercises went on all day today along upper Selah Creek,
      with a fire burning on two fronts all day with NO effort to put it out. We
      couldn't believe what we saw! What we observed today makes a complete
      mockery of all the efforts of so many WDFW biologists, the USFWS, and other
      conservationists to assure continued survival of sage grouse and its
      shrub-steppe habitat on the Yakima Training Center.

      Species list:

      Canada Goose - 50
      Mallard - 30
      Gadwall - 10
      American Wigeon - 25
      Common Merganser - 5
      Ruddy Duck - 10
      Chukar - 75
      California Quail - 20
      Common Loon - 8
      Pied-billed Grebe - 5
      Horned Grebe - 70 +
      Eared Grebe - 3
      Red-necked Grebe - 2
      Western Grebe - 30
      Clark's Grebe - 1 ? Far-off and in heat haze
      American White Pelican - 15
      Double-crested Cormorant - 10
      Great Blue Heron - 2
      Great Egret - 2
      Northern Harrier - 6
      Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
      Cooper's Hawk - 1
      Red-tailed Hawk - 3
      American Kestrel - 2
      Virginia Rail - 1, atypical habitat along Alkali Creek
      American Coot - 3000
      Killdeer - 5
      Ring-billed Gull - 50
      California Gull - 25, most 1st-year
      Herring Gull - 1+
      WESTERN GULL - 2
      SABINE'S GULL - 2
      Mourning Dove - 1
      Belted Kingfisher - 1
      Northern Flicker - 5
      Hammond's Flycatcher - 1
      Say's Phoebe - 5
      Black-billed Magpie - 3
      Common Raven - 10
      Horned Lark - 30
      Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2, locusts!
      Rock Wren - 12
      Canyon Wren - 2
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2
      American Robin - 1
      American Pipit - 2
      Cedar Waxwing - 8
      European Starling - 20
      Orange-crowned Warbler - 2
      Nashville Warbler - 1
      Yellow Warbler - 2
      Yellow-rumped Warbler - 25
      Common Yellowthroat - 1
      Wilson's Warbler - 2
      Spotted Towhee - 2
      Vesper Sparrow - 5
      Lark Sparrow - 4
      Song Sparrow - 1
      Lincoln's Sparrow - 3
      Golden-crowned Sparrow - 1, first of fall
      White-crowned Sparrow - 150
      Dark-eyed Junco - 10
      Western Meadowlark - 25
      Brewer's Blackbird - 10
      House Finch - 5
      American Goldfinch - 5

      Andy Stepniewski
      Wapato WA
      steppie@...
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.