Date: 11/19/18 7:52 pm
From: Brodie Cass Talbott <brodiecasstalbott...>
Subject: [obol] OBA Field Trip Report: North Wasco and Sherman Counties
Sorry folks, this was meant to send yesterday, but there were some
technical issues...

-----------------------

Saturday's Oregon Birding Association field trip to sites along the
Columbia River in Wasco and Sherman counties was blessed with sunny skies,
a great group of 12 birders, and some darn good county birds.

First stop was the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center where, thanks to Nick
Mrvelj's keen ears, we once again found a very cooperative SWAMP SPARROW at
the pond, at one point foraging in plain view of the entire group (
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010685). Driving in, some participants
also saw a pair of GREAT EGRETS. This bird has been seen on all three of my
Dalles trips recently, adding weight to Paul Sullivan's recent note that it
is possibly increasing in the area.

Next up was a small wastewater treatment pond in the Dalles industrial area
that has held a good number of ducks and sparrows recently, including a
number of WOOD DUCKS (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010698).

Moving on, we came to a small wetland down the road where we once again
found vocal SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, and MARSH WREN, an impressive haul from
such a small patch of urban habitat. Another HERMIT THRUSH was briefly seen
as well (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010696).

Moving on to Sherman county, we birded a pretty quiet Deschutes State Park.
The passerine activity was lower than previous trips, with a SLATE-COLORED
JUNCO perhaps being the best find, but the waterfowl continued to satisfy
viewers, with great looks at the lone SNOW GOOSE mixed with a flock of
Canadas, and a large group of BARROW'S GOLDENEYE with smaller numbers of
COMMON GOLDENEYE mixed in (and one good candidate for a hybrid male,
showing an intermediate facial pattern and reduced black spur), all close
in in the Deschutes River. A quick scan of the pond on the north side of
the highway also yielded a number of CANVASBACKS (
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010688).

The group made a quick stop at Celilo Park on the way back, where the duck
pond had the standard mob of coots, but less diversity of other waterfowl
than recent trips. In the main channel the COMMON LOON continues (
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010695).

We briefly stopped at Seufert County Park to look for the AMERICAN DIPPER
we found at the mouth of of Fifteenmile Creek during the scout, but we
failed to relocate it. We did, however, have our only (!) BALD EAGLE of the
trip at the dam (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010692).

No trip to The Dalles is complete without a stop at Lone Pine, where we
scanned the large gull wad, picking out a few HERRING GULLS, and a WESTERN
among the hundreds of CALIFORNIA GULLS. A sole PEREGRINE FALCON atop the
Dalles Bridge was a nice addition (and probable breeder at the location).
We also had a group of 46 SNOW GEESE drop in, which was by far the Wasco
County high-count (previous was 10) on eBird. The sample size is quite
small, but this fall has shown an uptick in reports of Snow Geese in Wasco
County (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010686).

The last stop of the day was Billboard Basin where Duke spotted Wasco
County's first flock of DUNLIN of the season mixed in with a good number of
dabblers (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50010681).

All told our group found 76 species on the day. Many thanks to Ken
Chamberlain for organizing the trip, Nick Mrvelj for faithfully counting up
all 3,564 birds for our eBird checklists, and all the participants for
their good company and good birding.

Brodie Cass Talbott
Portland

 
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