Date: 6/25/19 8:57 am From: <byers345...> Subject: [Tweeters] Birding east of the Cascades
While it remained cloudy and cool in western Washington last week, Bill and I headed east on Thursday to try our luck with the birds there. After lunch at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery (windy), we headed north to the Okanogan area. We drove the Cameron Lake Road from south to north. Aside from lots of beautiful teal and Redheads, we found over 40 American Pelicans at Duley Lake. We came back in the afternoon the next day, but only a few were left.
On Friday we decided to head up to Canada to bird at Lake Vaseux. There was no line at all going or coming across the border. The border agents on both sides asked us lots of questions, though. I suppose we might have looked suspicious. Lake Vaseux, about 30 miles north on Highway 97, has a nice bird observation area including a boardwalk and an observation tower. It's probably not the best season for ducks there, but you can get close views of Black-headed Grosbeaks and Gray Catbirds. The scenery here is wonderful too, and there is also the option to stop and many places for wine tasting. Lots of fresh fruit too, but we weren't sure if we could bring it back to the US.
We spent Saturday in the Okanogan Highlands. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere and scenery was really beguiling. We stopped at the Highland Sno-park, near Havillah. We always look for the Great Gray Owl here, but we haven't seen one since 2005. We did get a shot of a female Williamson's Sapsucker, which I think are here every year. Otherwise the usual birds you would find in a forest at 4,500 feet-Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Tanager, and the like. We at lunch at Molson. There were hundreds of Yellow-headed Blackbirds nesting there. We usually see a Common Loon there. This time there were 2 and quite close to the lake shore. Another bonus.
Our route homeward was across the North Cascades. We usually stop for a cup of coffee at the Washington Pass Overlook to say hi to the Canada Jays there. I think they have become completely spoiled by tourists feeding them as they will land on your hand to take nuts. (How do I know this, you ask!) But unexpectedly, though not rare here, was the female American Three-toed Woodpecker that dropped by to work on trees right next to our picnic table. For me this is an "I've died and gone to heaven" moment. Lots of photos!
Anyway, as you might expect, I have put the best of our bird photos plus several of critters and two Badgers, in a Flickr album that you can access by clicking below. The badgers were a huge bonus on day two. We found them on Cameron Lake Road. They didn't seem to worried about us and we kept our distance from them.