[Tweeters] Hot Day in CWA - Wed. 4/30/14

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Mon May 5 12:08:25 PDT 2014

Hot, but not a Big Day (for birds) ! I had a feeling the bird parts of the day would be less than spectacular, when the first bird I saw after leaving town, was, no, not a crow, but a Rock Pigeon, up near N. Bend, no less ! But the drive was nice and it really never felt like the 90 degrees I later heard was endured on the west side the same day. My main goal was to check on some former and possible Prairie Falcon nest sites in the Yakima River Canyon, which I did do, but, disappointingly saw neither any PRFA nor signs of activity at any nest sites. But, I did discover a fresh nest on a beautiful cliff face near Milepost 17 (see photos in "Landscape" album - links to 3 albums below) - ideal for human observers and maybe welcoming for a Prairie pair - hoping that and maybe another site or two will still have little heads popping up next time I look. I did hear of and see photos of, an active PRFA pair seen near a probable nest site in Umtanum Canyon on the same day.

So, the short list of birds seen and the few photographed (an * next to the name):
*Common Raven - young in a nest on SR10 near MP94 and adult pairs patrolling cliffs at MP94 on Canyon Rd. and north of the PRFA cliffs at MP4, as well as a couple of them at the Cle Elum Ponds - some seen flying over the freeway and other roads, too
Turkey Vulture - 2 being forced away from the raven nest by the persistent raven pair
Red-tailed Hawk - a few flying about here and there
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) - many near the Cle Elum Ponds
Tree Swallow - CE Ponds and along Yakima River
N. Rough-winged Swallow - CE Ponds
Violet-green Swallow - nesting at SR10 cliffs
Northern Flicker - CE ponds
*Black-billed Magpie - seen from SR10 cliffs (MP 94) on down to and through Yak. Canyon
*Osprey - almost every nest platform I saw had an active nesting situation going
Mourning Dove
*Bald Eagle - nest with one youngster and both adults seen at MP16 on Canyon Rd. - one other seen in flight along freeway
*Red-winged Blackbird - many calling out along the Yakima R. at dusk
American Kestrel - on a wire along the way
Brewer's Blackbird - many
Great Horned Owl - silhouetted on deciduous tree along I-90 near Thorp (at 9 p.m.)

The day way anything but a 'bust' - the scenery was fantastic and my times spent watching and looking, at the SR10 cliffs and MP4 on Canyon Rd. were a wonderful pause in the day-to-day hecticosity. And traffic was almost nil, plus there was no "blasting" or "rolling slow-downs" on the freeway - an advantage to leaving Seattle after noon and returning after dark.

Never a regret for going to Central WA.

Take a look at some of these photos, to get a feel for this special day - :-)

Note: in the landscape set, the last 2 photos contain a bighorn sheep on a cliff ridge (use a magnifier or make photo full screen if you fail to find this sweet surprise with your bare eyes)

photos from this trip, using Panasonic Lumix (not Lummox !) FZ70

Birds & Nests : https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXTUGKE

Landscapes, Incl. a Few Nests : https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXgfPUp

Evening Light Paintings Along Canyon & Umptanum Rds.: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXgknH7

Barb Deihl
North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net

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