[Tweeters] A Fair Friday East of the Mts. - 5/31/13

nightwings406 at aol.com nightwings406 at aol.com
Sun Jun 2 08:25:33 PDT 2013

Yesterday afternoon we did not see the Prairie Falcons on Canyon Road out of Ellensburg. We did hear the Chukar's calling.
We had trouble finding the Golden Eagle nest in the cliff but a gentleman stopped and showed us where it was. We did not see the eaglets in the nest but did see two Golden's flying above the cliffs. The man had pictures taken earlier of a Golden Eagle carrying off a young sheep it had killed. It apparently was not able to carry the young sheep very far before it dropped it. He was not sure what happened after that.
The two Bald Eagle babies were still in the nest near MP 16. We had very good views of them.
We saw a pair of Bullock's Oriole's and a Western Kingbird while stopped along the road to look at a herd of the sheep. Also heard a flycatcher calling but am not sure which one so can't help you.
Donna Ferrill
Mill Creek/Cle Elum

-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Deihl <barbdeihl at comcast.net>
To: Tweeters <Tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Sat, Jun 1, 2013 6:22 pm
Subject: [Tweeters] A Fair Friday East of the Mts. - 5/31/13

The day was beautiful - sunny, no noticeable breeze until evening, in the seventies. You would think that would have assured me of another "Super Day", but, not seeing those Prairie Falcon fledglings again, was indeed a disappointment. I waited at the MP4 site for an hour (4-5 p.m.) and again for a half hour (8:30 - 9 p.m.) - heard the young PRFA calling out and before that, saw an adult fly in around the distant cliffs from which the calls emanated, but no show ! Met a nice couple from Granger who were also looking for the falcons - we all were sorry that our conversations weren't interrupted by the distinctive sounds or sights of a Prairie Falcon or 7. "Oh well", as they say...

At the MP4 site I saw and photographed a flycatcher that I couldn't identify - if any of you can tell what it is, I'd love to know (maybe others would, too). Check out the first 4 images of my Flickr set for Friday's outing, to see a smallish set of photos of this flycatcher : http://flic.kr/s/aHsjFEvXRE

Golden Eagle nest - 2 birder/photographer gals from Yakima and I looked through my scope to find the nest - at the time, we didn't see any activity or signs of an eaglet at the nest, but hours later, when I returned and saw the nest from a different vantage point and in easier (though dimmer) light, I could see a young eagle's head moving in the nest - Susan & Linda (fr. Yakima) told me they had recently seen 3 Goldens flying around near the nest, one of which looked to be a juvenile, so at least there is still activity there.

Bald Eagle nest @ MP15 1/2 - I saw the 2 young ones standing and both parents watching over them from both the nest tree and the tree south of it. Lighting wasn't as good as on Tues., so I skipped the photography this time.

Red-tailed Hawk nest on Umptanum Rd. - the 3 nedglings were still there, but this time the oldest one was branching - unfortunately, both the oldest and the youngest spent most of the time I was there, with their backs to me and the sun. Again, oh well... I took pics, anyway.

Farther out on Umptanum Rd., in an area where I have in past years seen Short-eared Owls, a male Northern Harrier slipped by me - too quickly for me to capture an image. Not as much Western Meadowlark singing last night as there had been on Tues. evening, but I was earlier yesterday, and it was Friday evening - there was likely an important meeting many were attending down at the local GrubPub...

Bighorn sheep were again visible, though not the dozen or so we saw in a cluster on Tues. Linda and Susan told me that they have seen 6 young sheep this season - they even witnessed playful chasing by some young, around the rocky slopes - once they thought a sheep had fallen, a they heard a lot of rocks falling, but apparently it was just those rowdy youngsters, showing off their newly-aquired skills.

I wasn't sure what it meant when, at 7:30 p.m., while heading down Canyon Rd. again, I passed a large snag (near Woodhouse Loop), with 5 or 6 Turkey Vultures having their own version of a "Friday Night" outing. They were loaded onto the branches of that snag and were moving around. Not having remembered to bring along my vulture breathalyzer equipment, I was unable to ascertain if these birds were otherwise 'loaded'...

After 2 rounds of debugging my windshield, and a tankful of gas added to the car, I made my way, nice and easy, back to Seattle.

If any of you saw or see some raptor action in them thar parts, today or in the next week or so, please don't be shy about letting me (and the other Tweets), know. I haven't gotten back to that Prairie Falcon nest in the Lower Umtanum Creek Canyon yet, to see if those young have yet appeared or fledged, so, if you have, please share what you saw (either off-or on-list). There are a couple of other possible PRFA nest sites in the Canyon Rd. area - any updates are welcome. The sheriff is still patrolling raptor nest-sites, so be good and be careful !

Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net

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