Date: 12/28/17 7:15 pm
From: Jon Houghton <jon.houghton...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Okanogan - Day 2 - 4 chickens but no Sharp-tailed
Hi Tweets - Today, I headed up to Scotch Creek at dawn to catch those wily Sharp-tailed Grouse in their budding mode, sitting up in the water birch. No such luck. There were at least 3 Rough-legged Hawks perched along the riparian tree line where we've been fortunate to see them (STGR) reliably in years past. Maybe that's why they were missing. There<http://missing. There> were 10 WILD TURKEYS in the area, though. We'll try again tomorrow. On the way back to Omak, I saw an anomalous pile of cow plops in a field that morphed into a covey of Gray Partridge; in a nearby corral with some hay spread about, there was a smaller group of Cal. Quail. 3 chickens so far. We regrouped and headed up in the fog toward the Highlands. At the Havilla Sno Park, it was 14 degrees with lowering fog, but we fulfilled a 5-year, circa 20-visit quest: we had an all too brief view of a GREAT GRAY OWL! flying across the road, and then off into the snowy woods. The only other bird we could find there was an RB Nuthatch. The rest of the Highlands was disappointingly bird free. The Nealy feeders are apparently no longer being maintained: only one Steller's Jay there. In Chesaw, and surrounding roads nothing but pigeons and EC Doves. Mary Ann Creek Rd produced 1 BB Magpie, 1 Raven, and 2 BC Chickadees. Until we got to the end at Molson Rd, where we were most pleased to see a flock of about 30 GRAY-CROWNED ROSYFINCH. Then, it got pretty slow again. Nothing to see back along Havilla Rd, up to the SnoPark for a walk, and heading down toward Tonasket. About half way down, I caught a glimpse in the foggy dusk of what might be a bird in a tree. Stopping quickly, in the bins, there turned out to be 4 ROUGHED GROUSE budding away in a small cottonwood. Chicken number 4. Happy Birding! Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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