Outdoors blog

Ross's gull not the only attraction in Okanogan County

A Ross's gull photographed at Palmer Lake in Okanogan County in December 2011 by Kenneth Trease. (Kenneth Trease)
A Ross's gull photographed at Palmer Lake in Okanogan County in December 2011 by Kenneth Trease. (Kenneth Trease)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The rare occassion of a Ross's gull showing up in Washington has become one of the most notable winter attractions to the Loomis area in a long time.

Birders from east and west of the Cascades are flocking to Okanogan county to get a peek at the bird, which has been regularly feeding on a submerged deer carcass along the shore.

But the gull isn't the only wildlife worth seeing near Loomis, as you can see from these photos by birder Kenneth Trease.

To see one of the best and most creative photos I've seen of the gull, check out the "local rarities" photo posted today by Spokane birding photography ace Tom Munson on his wildlife website.

Check out this report by Spokane birder Gina Sheridan:

 On Wednesday (12/21/11), Kim Thorburn, Garrett MacDonald, and I made the long haul up to Palmer Lake. The beautiful ROSS'S GULL entertained the entire bevy of birders present with a great show.While enjoying the Ross's Gull, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE flushed out of the riparian tree border by the lake.

 In the quaint community of Loomis, a herd of Bighorn Sheep were nonchalantly roaming around. A couple of the rams had impressive racks, and it was real treat to view them at such close range. In addition, there were a least 20 EURASIAN COLLARED DOVEs and several CLARK'S NUTCRACKERs adorning the town's trees.

After an afternoon drive over the entire Cameron Lake Road route in search of an Okanogan Snowy Owl, we were disappointed to find the entire Timentwa Plateau totally raptor-less.

Fortunately, we did find a handsome pair of PACIFIC LOONs at the foot of Chief Joseph Dam (Okanogan/Douglas County).




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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