|Clarkston, Asotin County|
I woke up with some excitement - here on day five of a Saturday to Saturday road trip, with June closing out, and a whole day to explore the Southeast corner of the state in the Blue Mountains. While I had originally planned on camping in Garfield County, hitting dry areas and the Snake River on the way to Clarkston, then heading over the Blues, starting in Clarkston would get me into the mountains sooner, so it was not a big problem either way...
|Hell's Canyon's thataway|
|Chukar - Asotin County. A life bird for me earlier this year, |
but this was the best I'd ever seen one.
Field Springs State Park
Townsend's and MacGillivray's were the main songs I heard on the way up, as far as warblers go. Swainson's Thrushes sang all of the way up, and were joined by Hermit Thrushes higher up. The trail was shaded the whole way, but it was a trail to a butte, so I was hopeful that I'd get a good view at the top.
Gratuitous flower shots...
Into the Blues
|Meadow flowers - probably right in front of the |
Wenatchee Guard Station
Whoops! Am I in Garfield County...?
|Near Wickiup Campground - Garfield County|
So I pulled the car over, and once again did a little hiking past the end of the road. Before it got to a snowfield at the bitter end (maybe 1/4 mile up), a woodpecker with an all dark back landed on a tree in front of me. The lighting was poor, so I walked up for a better view. It flew behind a tree, let out a loud QUEEYAHH!, and gave a quick rattling drill into the tree. Then it flew out of view for good. Williamson's Sapsucker! My second lifer of the day, although this was one that would need a better view some time.
I cursed a little bit more about the road, and then asked Jill how long it would take me to get to Clarkston. (calculating.... calculating.....)
Back to Clarkston
|Cloverland Road - Asotin County|
I told him about my morning, and he said "yeah, too bad about the road closure" (would have been nice to know about!). He and a friend were heading up to the Wenatchee Guard Station to look for rare flowers (some peony that is the only one that shows up in Washington), and a rare bird (Green-tailed Towhee - also just barely enters Washington). That was one I'd be looking for tomorrow, and he brightened up when he heard that I'd be birding with MerryLyn Denny the next day, telling me to pass along a hello. He told me to look out for Vesper Sparrows on the way down (found them!), and I finished my ride out of Asotin County, and back around to Garfield.
Garfield County one more time.
|That last step is a dooooozy....|
it's good to drive carefully here
|Snacks for the next day... check!|
Views from Garfield County