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RE: Priest Rapids Sabine's Gull still present plus Common Tern

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  • kevinslucas
    A little perspective. Birding the Grant County side of Priest Rapids Lake, rather than on the Yakima County side, has been much more productive for me, in
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 23, 2013

      A little perspective.

      Birding the Grant County side of Priest Rapids Lake, rather than on the Yakima County side, has been much more productive for me, in terms of how many birds & different species I've seen. I highly recommend it, and access is much easier.

      Viewed from the eastern shore of Priest Rapids Lake, the nearest point on Goose Island is about 0.30 miles, or 528 yards away. I've got a superb scope, so when there aren't too many heat waves & the wind is low I'm able to get decent identification views of larger birds at the island, e.g. Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Canada Geese, & some Common Loons. Most smaller birds are iffy for me.

      Going for Yakima County birds in the area of Goose Island -- anywhere for about 4 miles up from the dam, the shortest distance between shore on the Grant County side & the Yakima County line is about 0.75 miles, or 1,300 yards, so a bit more of a stretch. Just north of Goose Island it's about 0.9 miles. But under perfect conditions, if you're up for a really long shot, who knows what you might see?

      Good birding,
      Kevin Lucas
      Yakima, WA

      --- In BirdYak@yahoogroups.com, <downess@...> wrote:

      Ventured over to the Grant County side this morning to try and relocate the Sabine's that Andy and Denny found on Saturday. There is a nice trail that goes along the river below Desert Aire. Walking that trail I was able to view 1 juvenile Sabine's out in midriver (right about countyline, best estimate was it spent time in both counties but more time in Grant). This would be about 1/2 mile WNW of Goose Island. The bird was sitting on the water for most of the time but would do short fluttering flights showing its distinctive wing and tail pattern. Thus it is possible to view these birds from the Grant County side if you have a good scope.
      The other bird of note was a 1st winter Common Tern that circled around Goose Island and then headed west towards the Yakima county shoreline. In fairness the bird was not identifiable by the time it got into Yakima County waters, only the closer view of the bird over Goose Island allowed for identification. Looks like some good birds are moving through this area. Wanted to post that at least 1 Sabine's was remained for a couple days and it is viewable on the much easier to access Grant County side given good viewing conditions and a good scope.
      Scott Downes
      Yakima WA 
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 9:31 AM
      Subject: [BirdYak] Priest Rapid -Wenas Lakle-Vaux's Swifts in Yakima-21 September



      21 SEPTEMBER 2013

      Denny Granstrand and I made the trek over to Priest Rapids Lake and covered
      the Yakima County side both going north and then back south again. Grebes
      were noteworthy with a Yakima County record of 14 RED-NECKED GREBES, with
      six at one time. More than half still showed striped head patterns,
      therefore juvenile birds. Horned Grebes were everywhere, too. We tallied 80
      of these birds. We could not find any certain Eared Grebes, which surprised

      Denny found our best bird, three immature SABINE'S GULLS. They were out in
      mid-river, associating with a raft of coots. Speaking of coots, most
      appeared to be east of midriver, therefore in Grant County.

      Mallard 12
      Ruddy Duck 10
      Common Loon 12
      Horned Grebe 80
      Red-necked Grebe 14 6 at one time!
      Eared Grebe 0 Looked for.
      Western Grebe 12
      Double-crested Cormorant 3
      American White Pelican 8
      Great Blue Heron 2
      American Coot 1000
      Sabine's Gull 3

      Ring-billed Gull 15
      California Gull 10

      Herring Gull 2
      Mourning Dove 1
      Northern Flicker 8
      American Kestrel 2
      Say's Phoebe 1
      Black-billed Magpie 5
      Common Raven 6
      Rock Wren 4
      American Robin 2
      Yellow-rumped Warbler 5 1 Mrytle
      Lincoln's Sparrow 1
      White-crowned Sparrow 50
      House Finch 2
      American Goldfinch 3

      Shorebirding at Wenas Lake was super slow! A few Killdeers and Pectoral
      Sandpipers was our catch. A couple continuing RED-NECKED GREBES was our most
      notable sighting.

      Canada Goose 20
      Mallard 30
      Northern Shoveler 25
      Northern Pintail 3
      Green-winged Teal 25
      Common Merganser 1
      Ruddy Duck 3
      Pied-billed Grebe 1
      Red-necked Grebe 2
      Eared Grebe 1
      Double-crested Cormorant 5
      Great Blue Heron 1
      Killdeer 8
      Pectoral Sandpiper 4
      Cedar Waxwing 20

      At dusk we joined others for the Vaux's Swift watch at the chimney at
      Johnson's Auto Glass Richard Repp and Greg Bohn both counted, arrived at
      about same number-850! It was a marvelous experience watching these birds
      funnel into the chimney over a very short period just before 7:30 pm. Birds
      twittering in air above for prior 15 minutes.

      Andy Stepniewski

      Wapato WA


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