[Tweeters] Catherine Creek Canyon Hike

Dave Hayden dtvhm at nwrain.com
Sat May 18 21:13:05 PDT 2013


Today, Sherry and I ventured to the east side, hoping to escape the rain. So we headed down to the gorge to hike Catherine Creek Canyon. Of course it rained most of the way. Before arriving at our destination, we made a rest stop at Cascades Locks on the Oregon side. Here we had several HERMIT WARBLERS singing away, and had crippling looks at one. Once we arrived at Catherine Creek, the skies were mostly cloudy, and we thought we had escaped the rain. Nope. Once we entered the canyon, we had light rain on and off (mostly on) until lunch time when it finally stopped. Our main target bird for this hike was the green backed marsh mellow with red racing stripes known as the Calliope Hummingbird. The canyon has been a reliable spot for this bird for years, and still is.
Here’s a few birds seen in the canyon.
5 TURKEY VULTURES
1 OSPREY
1 BALD EAGLE
VAUX’S SWIFT
WESTERN BLUEBIRD
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK
WESTERN TANAGER
1 COOPER’S HAWK
1 AMERICAN KESTREL
CHIPPING SPARROW
1 NASHVILLE WARBLER
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE
2 CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD
2 ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER
WESTERN SCRUB JAY
LAZULI BUNTING

Reptiles seen: Western Fence Lizard and Southern Alligator Lizard

Before leaving, we walked the paved trail on the south side of the preserve. We didn’t add any new birds, but we had an awesome encounter with a Western Rattlesnake. We spent over 5 minutes with this 3ft reptile. He was moving slowly along the trail heading towards us, coming within three feet before stopping and then crossing the trail. And still, it was in no hurry. Finally it moved off the trail and into the brush. Most of the rattlers we come across usually just move out of the way to escape to a safe place, but this one was quite happy with our presence.

Our last stop was a quick walk through the Lyle-Balch Cemetery where we had another ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, 2 TURKEY VULTURES, and both AMERICAN and LESSER GOLDFINCHES.
Also, we counted 11 Western Pond Turtles in the pond down the road.

And still, we counted 15 TURKEY VULTURES in Stevenson.

Dave Hayden
dtvhm AT nwrain.com
Centralia, WA



















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