[Tweeters] Chelan/Yakima bird chase

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Sun Dec 28 09:56:48 PST 2014

Tweets – I made an overnight swing over to Wenatchee and Yakima Friday and Saturday, and was able to find several of my target birds.

Friday morning, I had a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL sitting on a Ponderosa Pine right next to US-97 on the Chelan side of Blewett Pass (between US-97 and Old Blewett Hwy, near the north end). I’d been planning on trying to search for NOPO in Chelan county, so it was wonderful to spot one right along the road.

I next arrived at Riverfront Dr. @ Parkhill St. in Cashmere, and had the ACORN WOODPECKER fly over my head the moment I got out of the car. It flew to a large tree to the south. I grabbed my hat and binoculars, and – NOTHING. I spent about 45 minutes trying to refind the bird, but was unable. I came back later, and couldn’t find it. But in flight, overhead, the bird was unmistakable with its wide black wings and huge white wing-spots.

And, as reported by others, Horan Natural Area in Wenatchee had multiple BEWICK’S WRENS. I first heard singing, and later was able to get a distant look. Unfortunately, they seem to only be along the seasonally-closed riverside trail, so you have to hear/view them from afar from the main trail.

Yesterday, I started out in Yakima. At the sparrow feeding area on the Greenway trail just north of the Poppoff loop trail, I almost immediately spotted the HARRIS’S SPARROW. Moments later, I saw a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. A couple of minutes later, I had all four Zonotricia species visible in a single binocular view, no more than 25 feet away from me. Quite a treat.

BEWICK’S WRENS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS were in full song. It seems to me that Bewicks, especially, seem to start singing at the Winter Solstice.

Alas, that’s where my luck ran out. There were quite a few CEDAR WAXWINGS near the entrance to the Poppoff trail, and I thought I might have heard a Bohemian, but couldn’t find one. I tried and failed at a couple of other waxwing locations in and around Yakima as well. There have been sparse reports of Bohemians around Yakima this winter, though seemingly nowhere dependable.

I then headed down to the Horse Heaven Hills, where I could find only a very few HORNED LARKS and a PRAIRIE FALCON. No Longspurs and definitely no Snow Buntings.

But I’m happy to have targeted four species and seen them all.

Happy New Year

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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