White-crowned sparrows and more evening grosbeaks
- The first white-crowned sparrow of the spring arrived Saturday, another under the feeders tonight. Pretty much right on time according to my very unscientific yard bird log. This morning we were overrun by evening grosbeaks again--maybe 12 pair. They ate like pigs and then left with nary a backwards glance--all before 8 AM.
Jeeped down to Quilomene Bay on the Columbia River on Sunday. Shrub-steppe flowers are already stunning-especially the hedgehog cacti. Much more to come. We saw several N. harriers, 2 males were especially fun to watch as they went through some territorial fighting. At the bay we saw a large flock of sandhill cranes (50 +) in a kettle over the Columbia, and then on the trip back out we witnessed 13 more s.cranes flying low over the Beacon Ridge Road just north of the windmills struggling to head north into a gale force wind. Rounding out the day: golden-crowned kinglet, Townsend's solitaire, w. and mtn. bluebirds, horned larks, meadowlarks, lots of robins and juncos, A. kestrels, rt hawks, and a golden eagle. Looked hard for sage sparrows and sage thrashers but found neither.
Deborah on the Brick Mill Rd north of Kittitas