- Hey all,
I've been trying to get around to this all week and haven't so far, but its been a busy week. I just want to give a "brief" summary of what I've seen this past week or so.
First of all, on Saturday I went down to Old Goldendale Rd to look for the Eurasian Wigeon. We stopped at an overlook of the extensive wetlands of Toppenish Creek to scope the swans in the wetlands (around 75 Tundra, 1 Trumpeter). Bob and April Adamson (sorry if I spelled anything wrong) joined us from there. From the road, I heard what sounded like a Sage Sparrow calling from the Shrub Steppe south of Pumphouse Rd. Ignoring it as a Starling or some other mischievous culprit, I kept scoping. After I heard it a few more times, I was pretty sure it wasn't a Starling, so I tried the playback from my iPod. Sure enough, as soon as I played it, the Sage Sparrow started actively calling back. A Sage Sparrow was one of my target birds this year, and a lifer of sorts (won't count it on my official life list until I get a visual). It stopped calling after about five minutes.We went down to Old Goldendale from there and pulled over the intersection. We didn't even have to get out of the car to see the Eurasian Wigeon. They were maybe 100-200 feet away and were right in the middle of a flock of 50 or so American Wigeon. It brings a memory to mind of Andy and Ellen in Skagit county last year looking at flocks of hundreds of American Wigeon and saying "There might be one Eurasian in that flock". This was just insultingly easier. I have photos on my flickr page of the pair. After a wind ruined trek up the side of a hill to look for a Sage Sparrow, we drove down Old Goldendale again, meeting up with Mike Roper and Roger (don't know his last name, sorry). Of the east side of the road, there were 7 or so Trumpeter Swans, 15 Ring-necked Ducks, 3 Northern Shovelers, many Tundra Swans, a Marsh Wren, two more Eurasian Wigeon (probably the same pair that just flew over), and hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds singing away.
The rest of the week wasn't too exciting. A trip down to the McNary area produced many different gulls (almost all of which were year birds), 3 Great Egrets which were flagged on eBird, an American White Pelican (another year bird), and several other not-as-exciting highlights. Other "highlights" of the week were a flock of probably close to 15,000 European Starlings outside of Outlook ( they're there every nigh folks), a roost of 110 or so Black-billed Magpies, also outside of Outlook, and the same California Gull at Sunnyside Highschool.
If anyone wants more details on any of these sightings, feel free to contact me. Also, all my photos are on my flickr page if anybody is interested. Have a great week everyone!
Happy birding, Eric