I’ve just returned from the fabulous three day field trip to Eastern Washington lead by Stefan Schlick.
I’m going to try and stick to chronological order.
We also had a few stops to scan the flocks of water birds.
Here’s a part of the large flock. See if you can find all the species there :) If you’re up to task you’ll probably want to click on the image and choose the original size:
Nah! I’m just kidding. There’s no such thing as “too many owls” especially such cute little things as pygmy. But we were lucky enough to see four.
Amazing watching the birds flying and fully disappearing as soon as they touch the ground!
The covey of 15 or so Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix) surprised us by not flying away but peacefully feeding and moving up the hill, eventually disappearing behind the ridge.
Gray Partridge is introduced species but they’ve had no negative ecological impact.
Next, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (Leucosticte tephrocotis).
We never met a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) but at least we found three of them.
They shared the only tree in the area with some fruit left with one American Robin (Turdus migratorius) and one Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi).
However much I wanted to take some photos of waxwings the weather wouldn’t permit.
Here’s just the picture of Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) sitting on the wooded duck to illustrate what the weather looked like at the moment.
There were hunters close by and I’m glad the covey flew in different direction.
Then we found our third chicken of the trip – Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus).
At first I couldn’t really see the birds, just shining red-golden spots, breathtakingly beautiful.
Pheasants are also introduced and harmless birds.
People breed them and set free. Guess what for? To hunt. What a shame.
14 people came rather close (not intentionally that close, but look how well camouflaged s/he is!) and slowly backed away without flashing the bird!
Our fifth and last chicken – California Quail (Callipepla californica).
Numerous flocks of Horned Larks (Eremophila alpestris).
Many subspecies are there and I’m yet to learn about them.
I have other photos of shrikes where you can actually see the bird :)
But this photo reminds me of the places we went.
Our last stop was Leavenworth where we cruised around the city in the search of Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator).
What a perfect ending of a great trip!