Saturday, August 16, 2014

Aug 15 (Day 227) - More sage sparrows w/ photos, Getting in position for Spruce grouse search!

Light rain delayed my departure this morning but functioned to keep things pleasant and cool well into the noon hour. Although I tallied Sagebrush sparrow yesterday, I only got an identifying look at it. As I was going to be biking through very good habitat this morning, I made a few roadside stops to see of I could locate another Sagebrush en route from Ephrata, WA to Bridgeport, WA. The first few stops yielded only Vesper and Brewer's sparrows, but with enough persistence I eventually found a family group of Sagebrush sparrows that allowed relatively close approach. 

64 miles + 3 chasing sparrows on side roads for 67 total

Sagebrush sparrow habitat

 I've got sparrows, in different area codes......
Sagebrush in the 509!
(It's OK if the above makes no sense, it's
for fans of Dirty South hip hop)

During the middle of the today's ride, I passed through some really amazing rock formations. I had no idea to expect this type of scenery in Central Washington. This were in the Moses-Coulee region though I am not exactly sure what precisely that means. I did not pass a single gas station or anything else today. This should give you an idea of remote an area this is. I guess there is a lot more wide open land in Central Washington than I has realized. There were a fair number of farm fields along my route, but since there were hardly any dwellings anywhere I biked, I am a bit confused as to whom the fields belong, for what they are used, and who actually works them. Maybe ghosts, who knows?

I rode along the bottom of the valley/canyon...... eventually climbed up the sides to the plateau on top.

I made a video of part of this stretch as well.

This is what the flat-topped plateau looked like. 
There were endless miles of fields just like this.

I had a some additional, heavier rain later in the afternoon, but I managed to reach my destination without major incident. The ride was deceptively difficult as I had a number of long, slow hills to climb at various points along the route. I will be doing lots of climbing tomorrow (> 4000') as I head north to Conconully, WA. I will be camping tomorrow night with my host from last night, Matt Yawney. We will be using this weekend to search for Spruce grouse and Boreal chickadee. If I can tick either of these birds I will consider the weekend a win. If I can get them both then I'll be super stoked. I most certainly will not have internet access tomorrow night, so you will have to wait until Sunday to hear how it all goes down. Once the results of this weekend are in, I will be in position to figure out what to do next. As per usual, everything is much easier when I find the birds for which I am searching! 

1 comment:

  1. Dorian
    I wish you would add a video a day to your blog. They give a much better perspective of what your riding through as well as an opportunity express your feelings and commentary of the days journey. What kind of camera are you using to create the video? And how is it mounted?