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

Priest Rapids Lake-1 November

Expand Messages
  • Andy Stepniewski
    PRIEST RAPIDS LAKE 1 NOVEMBER 2008 Yakkers, Scott Downes and I birded Priest Rapids Lake noting thousands of waterfowl and coots. It was a cloudy day with a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2008
      PRIEST RAPIDS LAKE
      1 NOVEMBER 2008

      Yakkers,

      Scott Downes and I birded Priest Rapids Lake noting thousands of waterfowl
      and coots. It was a cloudy day with a northeast breeze, not optimal for
      viewing birds on Priest Rapids Lake but not all that bad.

      Our first highlight was on the steep switchbacks heading down Umtanum Ridge
      where we had a flat tire. Messing with a "Fix-a-Flat" type goop and small
      air compressor, we were soon back on the road with still a spare.

      The first noteworthy sighting was a Yakima County first for Scott, a Clark's
      Grebe in about the same place we had one last week. We had good scope views
      of this bird, with a bright orange bill. As with last week, we had a Pacific
      Loon far offshore, that also gave us good scope studies. Grebes and loons
      again peppered the lake. We counted again high numbers of Horned Grebes -
      137. Gulls were scarce though.

      We spent an hour traipsing about Borden Springs, "probably the interesting
      spot at Priest Rapids.a large area of water seepage.above Alkali Canyon,
      just south of the Yakima-Kittitas County line.Borden Springs was known to
      early settlers as 'The Junipers' because of the dozens of Juniperus
      scopulorum [now mostly burned] growing there, and it marked the head of the
      rapids. Borden Springs was probably one of the first homesites in the Priest
      Rapids region." (Steppe by Step:Understanding Priest Rapids Plants. Joy
      Mastrogiuseppe and Steven Gill. Douglasia Occasional Papers. 1983.). We were
      both surprised that Virginia Rails scolded us from this odd habitat of thick
      grasses, and shrubs. Marsh Wrens and Song Sparrows were everywhere in the
      tall Phragmites grasses.

      Species list:

      Canada Goose - 20, many more in Grant County
      Mallard - 50
      Gadwall - 2
      American Wigeon - 350
      Canvasback - 1
      Redhead - 150
      Ring-necked Duck - 5
      Greater Scaup - 45
      Lesser Scaup - 20
      Scaup sp. - 1500
      Common Goldeneye - 1, first of fall here
      Bufflehead - 15
      Common Merganser - 10
      RED-BREASTED MERGANSER - 8
      Ruddy Duck - 5
      Common Loon - 35
      PACIFIC LOON - 1
      Pied-billed Grebe - 8
      Horned Grebe - 137
      Red-necked Grebe - 1
      Western Grebe - 35
      CLARK'S GREBE - 1
      American White Pelican - 15
      Double-crested Cormorant - 25
      Great Blue Heron - 2
      Bald Eagle - 3
      Northern Harrier - 2
      Red-tailed Hawk - 2
      American Kestrel - 1
      American Coot - 6500
      BONAPARTE'S GULL - 2
      Ring-billed Gull - 5
      Herring Gull - 3
      Glaucous-winged Gull - 2
      Northern Flicker - 3
      Black-billed Magpie - 5
      Common Raven - 5
      Horned Lark - 2
      Rock Wren - 4
      Canyon Wren - 2
      Marsh Wren - 15
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
      Song Sparrow - 35
      Lincoln's Sparrow - 1
      White-crowned Sparrow - 50
      Dark-eyed Junco - 25
      Red-winged Blackbird - 10
      House Finch - 2
      American Goldfinch - 60

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