Sunday, December 07, 2008

Latah Co. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, 12/5/08 (& a few other sightings)

Hi All -

I found a flock of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches along Eikum Rd. about 15 miles south of Moscow around 2:45 PM Friday afternoon. There were probably 60-80 birds present although flock size was somewhat hard to estimate. Shortly after I arrived a swirling flock of birds appeared and started checking out the tractor shed where they (presumably) roost. They were still active around the tractor shed and barn when I left 5-10 minutes later. I ran into the owner and told her what I was doing and there was no problem. I've added the location to my Latah Co. birding google map here -

I checked this location probably 5 or more times last winter w/o any success so either there is a short time window for observing birds coming into roost or they are changing roost sites during the winter. Birds generally arrive 1.5 hrs. or so before dusk, perhaps earlier on cloudy (dark) afternoons. There is another tractor shed at a farm along Martinson Rd. several miles west of this location that has been used in the past but apparently not in the past couple years. There is also a house w/ feeders a bit to the east on Berger Rd. which sometimes has rosy-finches but on Friday only a large flock of House Finches was present.

I believe Kas Dumroese discovered the Martinson Rd. roost site some years ago on the Moscow-Pullman CBC and Terry Gray found the Eikum Rd. roost site just a couple years ago.

Other sightings -

On Friday afternoon I had a couple Rough-legged Hawks along Swenson Rd. a bit north of Eikum Rd. Not much else although there is a lot of interesting habitat along Swenson Rd, Campbell Loop Rd., and Lonestar Rd. (an area I'd really like to visit in breeding season!).

Saturday evening and early Sunday this morning a pair of Great Horned Owls were calling in my east Moscow neighborhood. Nice to know they continue as a breeding species in town.

Mid-day today I found a female Lesser Scaup at the UI Dairy Ponds w/ a small group of Mallards (geese had apparently departed for the day). This bird threw me for a loop initially as it was on the bank w/ the Mallards!

thanks, Charles.

Charles Swift
Moscow, ID

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