We had a fairly productive but excellent trip to the Okanogan and plateaus this weekend for our winter trip. Great sightings of Gray-crowned Rosy-finch, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Great Gray Owl, Ruffed Grouse, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Townsend's Solitaire, Harris Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, and Snow Bunting. We were not able to locate many of the species we hope to see, most notably finches including Crossbills, Redpolls and Grosbeaks. But the views we had were nice despite snowy and sometimes rainy conditions.
Scout day Friday 2/17:
Lesser Goldfinch - Cashmere
Clark's Nutcracker and Pygmy Nuthatch - Badger Mountain
Snowy Owl - G Road and 16 NE Mansfield.
First Trip day Saturday 2/18:
400 Gray-crowned Rosy-finch - Happy Hill Road
Bohemian Waxwing - Happy Hill Road
Sharp-tailed Grouse and Turkey - Scotch Creek Wildlife Area
Pygmy Nuthatch - Conconully
Great Gray Owl - Highland Snow Park just off park road before right hand turn to parking and rest rooms and female hooting Mary Ann Creek Road
Gray Partridge - Nealy Road
Mountain Chickadee - Nealy Road Feeders
Ruffed Grouse - Davies Road
Great Horned Owl - Mary Ann Creek Road and Tonasket-Havillah Road south of Havillah.
Second day Sunday 2/19:
Sharp-tailed Grouse and Townsend's Solitaire - Bridgeport Hill, Wells Creek Wildlife Area, West Forster Creek.
Northern Saw-whet Owl next to bathroom at Bridgeport State Park entrance restrooms.
Harris Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Ring-necked Pheasant - Washburn Island.
American Tree Sparrow and Ruffed Grouse - north part of Cameron Lake Road
Snow Bunting - Cameron Lake Road and Timentwa Road.
Going Home day Monday 2/20:
Great Horned Owl - Central Ferry Canyon
Great-Horned Owl - East of H on 172, Waterville Plateau.
We had rain, snow and white out conditions on Monday. Making it hard to work on Horned Lark and relocate Snowy Owl from scout day which was unsuccessful.
Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, and Horned Lark were plentiful. Nice waterfowl on Lake Pateros. We dipped on Long-eared Owl, Northern Goshawk, Pygmy Owl and Long-tailed Duck. Garry and Alyssa with the SAS Trip located NOGH and NOPO on Havillah Road north of Hungry Hollow and south of Chesaw which is an area we did not explore.
Classic winter birding, some super exciting sightings, with down times in between. It helps to be patient and take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Upwards of 90 species with highlights being the Owls, Chickens, Gray-crowned Rosy-finch, Tree Sparrow, and Snow Buntings.
Shep and for Scott Ramos
Shep Thorp, VMD
Senior Clinician, Emergency Service
BluePearl Veterinary Partners