[Tweeters] A couple of Wenatchee-area questions

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Wed May 29 10:12:52 PDT 2013


Josh,



The mystery tree that you described is almost certainly Russian olive
(Elaeagnus angustifolia). This is a non-native small tree, native to western
and central Asia, which has been introduced in North America and is
well-established and common in the intermountain area (southern BC south to
northern Arizona and New Mexico). It is definitely an invasive, but has not
aroused as much concern as some other invasive species because the berries,
which are produced in large amounts, have a high wildlife value. They are
eaten in fall and winter by robins, bluebirds, waxwings, and lots of other
species.



N.B. Great Egrets are fairly common in the Columbia Basin region. There is
a sizable breeding colony on the north side of the Potholes Reservoir west
of Moses Lake which you can drive to. It also has nesting cormorants,
Black-crowned Night-Herons, and Great Blue Herons, although the number of
nesting birds varies from year to year.





Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net









From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of JOSHUA
HAYES
Sent: May-29-13 8:03 AM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] A couple of Wenatchee-area questions



Tweets,

We spent the long weekend in and around Wenatchee (and the birding at the
Confluence park is wonderful, by the way!), and I have a couple of
questions:

1) We saw a Great Egret in the Quincy Lakes region (Dusty Lake, to be
precise); this struck me as unusual. Is it? My Peterson's guide lists them
as unusual up here. (Also saw a SPECTACULAR pair of Lazuli Buntings there.
Just gorgeous.)

2) We saw a flycatcher in the Confluence park we were unable to identify,
despite a good fifteen minutes of looks from no more than fifty feet. It
looked for all the world like an Eastern x Western Kingbird hybrid: is this
possible? Pretty much looked like an Eastern, but lacking the distinct
terminal tail band.

3) [OT] That entire area, and east to Grand Coulee and the Soap Lake area,
is carpeted with a smallish tree or big bush with dusty gray leaves,
elongate rather like willow leaves, studded with small (< 1cm) yellow and
white flowers, that smells glorious - to me, reminiscent of the ylang-ylang
trees on the grounds where I stayed in Costa Rica. Can anyone tell me what
this is? (No doubt some noxious weed, as pretty plants so often are these
days. :( ) [/OT]

TIA,

Josh Hayes, now back home in Licton Springs
coralliophila at live dot com



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