[Tweeters] Mockingbird still at Cle Elum

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Sat Oct 10 11:06:51 PDT 2009

Hi, Tweeters,

Bill and I ventured east of the mountains yesterday to see if
the Northern Mockingbird was still hanging out in the chokecherry bushes
near the Teanaway Swauk Grange Hall outside of Cle Elum. We arrived about
9:30. The skies were overcast and a cold wind was blowing. Initially there
wasn’t a bird to be seen anywhere, but after a while a few White-crowned
Sparrows started flying in from nearby fields. Finally, the Mockingbird
stuck his gray head out of the bushes (where it had been all along) and,
after a while more, perched on the bushes, so we got lots of pictures.

Before we arrived at the grange hall, we stopped at the NP ponds
closer to Cle Elum. There were lots of birds flying around this area. Many
(50-60) Western Bluebirds were sitting on and flying around some of the
snags there. We wondered if they were getting ready to head south. Along
with them were Cedar Waxwings, Robins, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, but the
largest number was the bluebird.

We also saw a Merlin, doing a quick fly by (maybe hoping to
catch a bluebird) at the NP ponds. Later, at the pond where Hwy. 10 crosses
the Teanaway River, we had a Peregine Falcon fly past.

Later still we drove up to Red Mountain in the Teanaway range.
It may have been our first trip up there. For those of you who haven’t made
this pilgrimage, you drive up forest service roads for about 8 miles (some
pretty rough, although passenger cars were at the top) from the Swauk Pass
highway. Then you park at a small campground and climb up the last ½ mile
to the lookout. From there you get wonderful views in all directions. At
this point (about 12:30), there was virtually no wind, so it was still cold,
but growing a bit warmer. As we gazed around, a Northern Goshawk swept past
us. This was the first mature Goshawk we’ve seen and the closest we’ve seen
one, as it flew past about 30 feet from the lookout about eye level. Neato!

We also saw a flock of not so solitary Townsend’s Solitaires
right below the lookout.

We came home over Stephens Pass because we had been warned that
construction on Snoqualmie Pass might delay our westbound trip. The vine
maple and other deciduous leaves between Leavenworth and the pass were
breathtakingly beautiful.

Cheers, Charlotte Byers, Seattle

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