[Tweeters] FOY Trip to CWA - 3/8/15

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Tue Mar 10 01:32:18 PDT 2015

1st bird : crow; 2nd : raven; 3rd : Black-capped Chickadee... and on it went in a similar vein, occasionally getting a bit more exciting with a Tree Swallow, several Steller's Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, 3 Gresser Scaup, American Robins, a few mosquitoes, etc. And then, after taking a break from the action at the Cle Elum Bakery, things did pick up a bit as I headed out of town on SR10. At the Teanaway River bridge, no dipper but a Pileated Woodpecker and more Steller's Jays filled a bit of the void with their calls. More of the bird void was easily filled with color, brightness, warmth and some short walks - the Stuart Range was brilliant with visible snow (unlike most of the peaks at Snoqualmie Pass), and the Teanaway River flowed nicely, but was definitely down in volume.

On to the cliff area near Milepost 94 - first watched a Prairie Falcon soaring above the land to the west of the cliffs - then, at the cliffs, watched another (or the same) PRFA being chased away by a persistent Common Raven who kept patrolling along the cliff tops, likely staking claim to one of the good areas for nesting. But maybe, just maybe, there will be a return of Prairie Falcon supremacy for the honor of nesting there this season ? None of the usual Turkey Vultures were lurking about that area - a bit early, I guess - saw no TV's the entire day. And all the Osprey platforms I saw, were vacant.

Farther along Hiwy 10 I finally started seeing a few Red-tailed Hawks, perched and soaring. Started noticing some large stick nests in cottonwoods, too. Found more nests on a detour I took before dropping down into the Yakima Canyon on Canyon Rd. outside of Ellensburg. As my main target was to get to MP4 (Canyon Rd.) to look for possible PRFA activity, I had to skip Umtanum Creek Canyon and a few other spots along the Yakima River, in order to be at my favorite viewpoint for the evening action, if there was to be any. Saw one possible PRFA fly across the road, but no more falcon action of any kind for the 2 hours I was there. I was serenaded by a Canyon Wren and the calls of some Black-billed Magpies. I finally spotted one magpie up on a clifftop, watching the sunset, I suspect - it was quite captivating, so I watched it, too.

And so ended my wild day of birding :-) Just before getting back on I-90, I stopped at McDonalds for a side salad and to refill my water bottle - it had been rather hot and dry in the afternoon but (who's complaining ? :-)) The day was made more complete when I passed a "Milky Way" truck just outside of Cle Elum. Just like old times. But, unlike most other times, I pulled into my driveway 'early' - 10:30 ! And it was kind of nice not to have had to deal with construction on I-90, or any pullovers for speeding. 'Twas a nice, slow day with few people, little drama and time to take in some of the many splendors of nature. Even Orion's belt stood out in the sky as I left Kittitas County - pretty neat !

To get the real-Deihl feel for my outing, check out the 3 Flickr albums. See if you can find the Great Horned Owl in one of the pictures - I didnt notice it until I uploaded my pictures :-)

Part 1 : https://flic.kr/s/aHsk9amwdH

Part 2: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5BNJa5

Part 3: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk9bAVL4

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

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