[Tweeters] Somethings Special Near Ellensburg - 5/14/14

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Thu May 15 18:48:44 PDT 2014

Once again, I was glad I persisted in making my way to CWA, though at several spots enroute, I had thoughts of packing it in and returning to Seattle. Main mission was to check for the Prairie Falcon nest sites that have been noted and speculated along the Yakima Canyon Rd. by several birders/photographers. With my pretty late start, lack of get-up and-go and seeming lack of many visible birds, I figured the trip would go on record as perhaps the dullest I'd done recently. "Never say never"...

Starting with a few new sightings of stick nests on cliffs along the way and then, seeing a Prairie Falcon soaring near MP10 and one later at MP4, brought hope. And, at MP10, seeing and hearing a few species in trees and air, things started perking up. Also, conversing with a fisherman from Yakima (previously Montana) who was taking a breather at MP10 after work, I learned some interesting history and enjoyed a couple of short bird anecdotes he shared. I shared some bird info with him and showed him a possible Prairie Falcon nest in the cliffs across the river.

Then on down to MP4 to look for a nest across the river from last year's - not sure I saw one, but I definitely saw a soaring PRFA above the cliffs at the south end of last year's site. Also at the south end of last year's site, and around the curve in the road, were lots of Cliff Swallows buzzing around the lovely rocks there.

Speaking of 'swallowing', there were lots of swallows flying upriver at MP10, 'swallowing' many a fly in the dense swarm of the fly hatch that was going on. The flies almost blocked views of anything across the river, for awhile (yes, I exaggerate...) I figured that, had I been starving (which I wasn't), I could have gotten a good quota of protein by gulping mouthfuls of those flies :-)

Then, at the last minute as the sun was setting, I decided to check on the old Red-tailed Hawk nest I'd been checking for weeks and hadn't seen any sign of it being used. As I pulled up across from the nest and glanced over, I noticed a couple of downy chicks moving around on the huge nest. The last bird I've been seeing on each of my last few trips to CWA, has been a Great Horned Owl - I figured that streak was over, but instead, I had happened upon 2 branching owlets! If any of you might wish to go over there this weekend, contact me privately and I'll gladly give directions.

Have a look at my photos of the day: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjY93M4M

Cheers !

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

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