[Tweeters] recent trips to a Yakima Canyon site, with a bounty of special viewings - May 31 and June 9 (& 10)

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Tue Jun 14 14:10:37 PDT 2016

My first few trips to Central WA this spring, though pleasant, didn't find me surrounded by quantities or goodly varieties of birds. The scenery and the air sufficed - it always does... But I have had a mission this year - to find an active Prairie Falcon nest again. With help from someone who this year, made it his mission to document a nest from start to finish, through video, I was kept informed and was able to visit the viewing site several times, the most recent of which was last Thur. (6/9), when the remaining 3 chicks of the 4 that had been in the nest (3 femaIes, 1 male), were very actively prepping for launch( and probably for lunch, too...). But we never saw any take a first flight - we believe it happened with the first chick on the previous day. The day I and friends, Dory & Ray Hamlyn were there together, no fledging activity was seen. However, the youngsters were wild and crazy. AND, 2 or 3 of the flying members of the family (likely an adult or 2 plus the first fledgling from the day before) soared and flew around the cliffs and in front of the nest, showing off and perhaps trying to entice the other 3 nestlings to "come on out". A nice sideshow :-)
The next day, in very early morning, 2 more of the remaining young, made their first flights - the fellow doing the video documenting was there and caught it. That left one remaining youngster to lift off. D&R saw it that day (Friday) when they went to the site once again, but it remained a ledger, not a fledger. No word yet as to whether or when #4 took off.

Besides the PRFA scene, last Thur. brought many other birds and 'other' our way - Friday brought yet more to Ray & Dory. You can get a visual tour through much of our Thursday their Fri, by viewing and reading the captions with, 2 sets of photos (Flickr). The third set is from May 31st, when I came over to scout again. Besides seeing the little PRFA nestlings, I had a great evening encounter with about a dozen Common Nighthawk, right there in the parking lot of the PRFA viewing site ! "Peents" and "booms" alerted me to their presence, which I should have expected, once clouds of mosquitoes made life quite unpleasant for me. As for many of you, I miss the summer visitors. (not the mosquitoes !) I've only heard one NIHA calling here near Matthews Beach so far this spring. Another time I will relate my most memorable nighthawk experience from over 3 decades ago in north-central California. For now, this May 31st vignette is it. Plus a documenting photo of a few of them way up there. The drive home that night resulted in a gummy layer of mayflies and other hatched insects getting affixed to about 3/4 of my car - still have to get some de-bugger to clear off the rest of that now-solidified glue on the car's finish and the light covers. What a bonus !

But last Thursday was absolutely great - I've created 3 Flickr albums that include my pics for Thur., Dory's (plus 1 or 2 of Ray's), and My photos from May 31. Here are the links:

May 31 2016 - https://flic.kr/s/aHskAUZNQk - pics by Barb

June 9 2016 - https://flic.kr/s/aHskydEAwD - pics by Barb

June 9,10 2016 - https://flic.kr/s/aHskycHzaw - pics by Dory & Ray

Enjoy !

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