[Tweeters] CWA - Warm & Windy Once Again - 5/4/15

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Wed May 6 13:20:10 PDT 2015

Starting at the Cle Elum RR Ponds, i had a pair of Turkey Vultures doing low-level foraging, about 10-20 ft. over my head - kind of weirded me out a bit - did I look like roadkill? :-/ Same thing happened at the Teanaway River bridge but the duration of their hovers over me wasn't as long - maybe I looked a bit more alive ? At the cliffs on SR10, yet 2 more out scouting, joined by another pair, but not directly over me, rather doing more of the usual soaring hither and yon. As I continued down the road from the cliffs, I saw something that might have been brought welcoming whiffs to these vultures' nares - a recent Yellow-bellied Marmot fatality in the road.

Very minimal small birdage initially (and in total) - Yellow Warbler, Black-capped Chickadee, a sprinkling of Tree, Violet-green and N. Rough-winged Swallows, a few American Robins. I did find an unusual buteo and an American Kestrel, literally hanging on the wind, at about mile 93.5, a couple of Osprey hunkered down in their nests, a few Common Ravens playing in the air currents. Later, on Umptanum Rd., I found quite a few House Wrens in the bushes along the road, plus some bluebirds out getting some bugs, a Say's Phoebe perched on a sagebrush, the sounds of a woodpecker tapping. The wind had died down for awhile and that's when I saw and heard these smaller guys and gals. Among the larger birds that were apparent on Umptanum Rd. included the Great Horned Owl mom and the 2 owlets, a flyover Prairie Falcon, and busy Black-billed Magpies.

My final cruise, down Canyon Rd to the Bald Eagle nest and back, was beautiful, but back to windy. Went through several insect-hatchings, with many pinging my windshield, but mostly NOT leaving behind the usual non-water soluble gunk that even the gas-station windshield cleaners can't budge. The bigger insects will likely come out later in the month, and then... WATCH OUT ! There have been times down there that I've had to pull over and stop because of so many flies piling into my windshield that I couldn't see and would have to try to rub some off with my drinking water before I could proceed.

Ma & Pa Baldy were dutifully on the nest and stationed in an adjacent tree, on guard.

As I returned to freeway driving at Ellensburg, I was early enough to drive into the setting sun and see some fine clouds and color. The clouds darkened and built as I got closer to Snoqualmie Pass, and suddenly, I was pelted with lots of raindrops which didn't let up until I got down to exit 32 or so. Once back into King Co., it was clear and no sign that there had been any wetness on the west side. A full moon roamed the sky. Two Barn Owlets hissed me goodnight as I went by their box @ Magnuson.

Photos can be viewed here:

link to Flickr Album: "Warm & Windy Once Again" - CWA - 5/4/15: https://flic.kr/s/aHskahgG3m

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

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