I did a swing through E. WA. Saturday through Monday. My impetus was doing the first of two Short-eared Owl surveys that I’m doing for the WAfLS program. My square is on Benge-Winona Rd., at a point straddling the Adams/Whitman county line. I did, in fact, find SHORT-EARED OWLS there, in both counties, with no sightings before 5:45 pm. There was also a PRAIRIE FALCON right at the county line both Saturday and Sunday.
In Whitman County on Sunday, I found both VARIED THRUSH and LESSER GOLDFINCH near Koppel Gardens in Pullman (actually just SW of the garden).
At Texas Lake, I refound a male EURASIAN WIGEON that had been reported on eBird, and also had a GOLDEN EAGLE. A few miles away, on Cavuse Lake Rd. (Mail Route Rd., in Google Maps), at a 90 degree left turn, I found 5 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS.
There were 31 TUNDRA SWANS along Glorfield Rd., but was unable to find a Greater White-fronted Goose along Rock Lake Rd. Both species had been recently reported on eBird.
Monday, at the pond on Sagemoor Rd., just east of N Glade Rd., north of Pasco in Franklin County, I failed to find the previously-reported Barrow’s Goldeneye, but had a nice consolation of a juvenile HARRIS’S SPARROW in the large WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW flock between the road and the pond.
Monday afternoon, I spent nearly two hours on Lateral C at the Toppenish Wildlife Refuge. I had decided to hang around until 2:30 p.m. to try for the BLACK PHOEBE, and at 2:25, I *finally* heard it call. It took another 15 minutes to get a few glimpses of the bird, along the south shore if Toppenish Creek just west of Lateral C.
Overall, it was a very nice late-winter visit; the weather was extremely good, and it was pretty birdy everywhere.