A milestone has been reached! 100 species/county for WA state

I posted the following trip report to Tweeters a couple of days ago (see below). It is a milestone for me to reach 100 for each county in OR and WA. Only the great Pacific Northwest birders John Gatchet and Wayne Weber have reached this milestone to my knowledge. There may be other folks out there who have done it. [I recently boasted to Portland birder David Leal that I may be only birder to have Brambling for CA, OR, WA and BC. He calmly responded “That’s all pretty good, but I’ve got them too for these states/provinces, AND I also got several for AK. That shut me up rather quickly.]

My next goal is to complete CA. Since I’ve lived there for a while, I got a good head start and have only 25 or so to go. It will take several years …

This last weekend’s trip lead me from Whitman to Ferry County, via Lincoln and Stevens. Temperatures were warm and there were no crowds. I was concerned that it would be too early in the year and that some of the breeders would still be in transit. They were all there. In good numbers too. Boy, was it fun!

Whitman Co:
 
I started at Sheep Lake south of Sprague Saturday morning just after 5am. 2 friendly horses had kept me company all night. Wilson’s Phalarope, American Avocet, Yellow-headed Blackbird and a few Grasshopper Sparrows were all easy to get within 5min. A breeding-plumaged BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was a surprise.
 
At Rock Lake I found 2 Caspian Terns, a breeding-plumaged Common Loon (right by the boat launch), a Western and a CLARK’S GREBE.
 
Lincoln Co:
 
I briefly looked for the Clay-colored Sparrow along Seven Mile Rd east of Davenport, but couldn’t find it. The habitat looks good for it, but it may have moved slightly. Grasshopper, Vesper and Brewer’s Sparrows were there though.
 
Stevens Co:
 
One of my favorite spots in the area is the Chamokane Creek wetland along Martha Boardman Rd, barely within Stevens Co coming from Reardan (SR 231). A curious horse with no master was roaming around the trail on the west side of the creek. Highlights here were a few Yellow-breasted Chats, many Veery and Hammond’s, Pacific-slope and Gray Flycatcher, but that doesn’t reflect how active the area was.
 
2 male Bobolinks were just east of Valley along Waitts Lake Rd.
 
I dipped on the Black Terns at the Colville STP, but got Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Wilson’s Phalarope and many Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
 
A che-becking LEAST FLYCATCHER was about 0.5mi east of Rice in the aspen-patch on the north side of Orin-Rice Rd.
 
Ferry Co: 
 
Entering Ferry Co from its east coast with the Gifford-Inchelium ferry, I lucked out on 2 pairs of Wood Ducks in the Inchelium STP. I then took Bridge Ck Rd towards the Sanpoil. A cute snowshoe hare didn’t care about me slowly driving by it along the high elevations of Bridge Ck Rd. When I reached the intersection with SR21, it was 6:30pm. Nevertheless, I found no less then 5 American Redstarts and Ruffed Grouse seemed to be drumming continuously. I noted my first Common Nighthawk of the season at around 7:30pm. What a great place!
 
Early Sunday morning, I worked the Sanpoil and found a singing Northern Waterthrush at MP 150.5. 
 
I then raced up Sherman Pass. Birding was active, but I didn’t find anything unusual up there.
 
A Eurasian Collared Dove was on the wire along Klondike Rd. At Mudd Lake, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Cinnamon Teal, a female Barrow’s Goldeneye and finally a couple of singing Marsh Wrens.
 
Along the Sanpoil again later in the day, I discovered several White-throated Swifts up the cliff face at MP153. Red-eyed Vireos were singing everywhere. What a treasure the Sanpoil is!!!
 
Finally, just before boarding the Keller ferry, I watched 7 snoozing Western Grebes near where the Sanpoil Arm spills out into the Columbia (still Ferry Co though). A few Gray Flycatchers were chaloop’ing in the area of the Swawilla Basin Rd turn-off.
 
Yesterday, just after entering Ferry Co, I finally reached 100 species in every WA county. I completed this feat for OR a few years ago and will now be able to focus on CA where I’m close to 2/3 done. Some folks never stop …
 
Stefan Schlick
Hillsboro, OR

 

Advertisements

Author: birdmeister

Obsessed with birding, I started taking a pictures in '01 after a brief personalized intro by the incomparable David LaPuma. In July '09, I acquired a Canon EOS 50D with a 100-400mm IS lens to be able to shoot the fast-moving lbjs that were so difficult before. In Dec '14, I upgraded my body to a Canon 7D Mark II and immediately noticed a big improvement. Nevertheless, I'm first and foremost a birder, then a photographer. Please note that all pictures on this site were taken by birdmeister (the owner of this site) except for where otherwise mentioned. All pictures on this site are copyrighted.

1 thought on “A milestone has been reached! 100 species/county for WA state”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s