[Tweeters] Wenas, Umtanum, & Robinson Canyon Birding

Michael Fleming michaelfleming01 at gmail.com
Fri May 21 10:36:48 PDT 2010

  Wednesday and part of Thursday Larry Moss and I birded a few
selected sights in Kittitas and Yakima counties.  We started out on
Saturday morning birding the BLM Umtanum Recreation Area in the Yakima
River Canyon.  There is now a $5 fee for day use parking in the area
(but it is still very much worth the trip to this sight).  We birded
around the parking area then headed over the suspension bridge and up
the canyon a couple of miles before returning. There were several
YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS in the area although in my opinion the best
sighing was watching a PRAIRIE FALCON the was perched on the edge of a
cliff preening for several minutes.
   Later in the afternoon we drove over to Robinson Canyon and were
planning on setting up our tents but the weather started  taking a
turn for the worse.  We decided to grab a room at a motel in
Ellensburg and have dinner, which turned out to be a wise decision as
the winds picked up and it started pouring rain.  The rain stopped in
the late evening and we drove back to Robinson Canyon a couple of
hours before dark.  At dusk the poorwills stated calling and we ended
up seeing 6 COMMON POORWIILL, three of them up close and one
fluttering about over the road (excellent looks).  This was the first
time that I had seen them on the paved road (3 of them) leading into
the canyon.
  Thursday morning we decided to drive the Umtanum-Wenas Road birding
along the way to the Wenas Campground.  We had nice looks at a few
sage species along the way including singing BREWER'S SPARROW and SAGE
THRASHER.  After arriving at the campground we checked the area out
for a couple of hours and found a male WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER working
on the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine only 3 feet above ground level.
Larry also observed 3 VEERY in the area near the creek and on the
drive out along Audubon Road there were both CALLIOPE and
  Highlights of our trip included:


Yellow-breasted Chat
Western Tanager
Lazuli Bunting
Prairie Falcon
Western Wood-Pewee
Cassin's Vireo
House Wren
Canyon Wren & Rock Wren (heard)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Townsend's Warbler
Say's Phoebe
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lewis Woodpecker
Orange-crowned Warbler
Warbling Vireo
Vaux's Swift
Turkey Vulture


Yellow-breasted Chat (heard)
Bullock's Oriole
Black-headed Grosbeak
Chipping Sparrow
House Wren
American Kestrel
Great Horned Owl (a couple heard calling)
Common Poorwill (6 seen)


Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Sage Thrasher
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Gray Flycatcher
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
MacGillivray's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
American Kestrel
Lewis Woodpecker
Western Tanager


Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Warbling Vireo
Cassin's Vireo (heard)
Black-headed Grosbeak
Western Tanager
Turkey Vulture
American Kestrel
Western Wood-Pewee
Gray Flycatcher
Vesper Sparrow
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Red-naped Sapsucker
White-headed Woodpecker
Pygmy Nuthatch
Townsend's Solitare

Cheers and Good Birding;

Michael Fleming
Ballard, Washington
michaelfleming01 AT gmail.com

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