[Tweeters] Yakima County Big Day May 11, 2013

Scott Downes downess at charter.net
Sun May 12 06:16:07 PDT 2013

Luke Safford and I set out yesterday morning at midnight for a Yakima County Big Day. Temps were projected to be in the low to mid 90's, but mostly calm.

We birded Hwy. 12 (going as far as Clear Lake); Hwy. 24; Priest Rapids Dam; Lower Yakima Valley and Toppenish NWR. For the day we finished with 146 species. Had some highlights but many misses, so the total could have been much better.

Highlights were a wonderful night of owling with 5 species of owls plus Common Poorwill. Combined with day efforts, we ended with 8 species of owls for the day. Red-breasted sapsuckers were found in two locations of Clear Lake and Tieton Marsh (next to Tieton State Airport). Perhaps the best daytime highlight was relocating a male Tri-colored blackbird on Lateral C at Toppenish NWR that was found the previous day by Kevin Lucas. This is a very rare species in Yakima County.

Notables misses (and all were targeted and tried for, many missed due to bad timing or hurried schedule typical of big days):
Chukar, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, White-throated Swift, Calliope Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Canyon Wren, Townsend's Solitaire, Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Red Crossbill.

Despite the misses and the heat, a very enjoyable day!

Scott Downes
downess at charter.net
Yakima WA

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