[Tweeters] WOS trip to Yakima County today

Michael Hobbs BirdMarymoor at frontier.com
Sat Apr 21 21:15:27 PDT 2012


Today, I led a WOS trip which started at Toppenish NWR and ended near Bethel
Ridge Rd off US-12 today, and we had great weather, great birds, and a lot
of quality views.

Our first stop was the flooded field 3/4 mile north of Toppenish NWR
headquarters off US-97, where we had KILLDEER. BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN
AVOCET, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS,
among other highlights to start our day. From the viewing stand at the
headquarters, Matt spotted a BARN OWL roosting in the willows to the
northwest! The headquarters themselves were loaded with YELLOW-RUMPED
WARBLERS (all Audubon's race), and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS - both species were
especially numerous today. The pair of AMERICAN KESTRELS copulated while we
watched.

We made a quick swing down to Tule Rd., off US-97 in the sage country, where
we had SAVANNAH, VESPER, SAGE, BREWER'S, WHITE-CROWNED, and LINCOLN'S
SPARROWS, along with HORNED LARK and LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE.

Back to Toppenish NWR, along Pumphouse Rd., we added SAY'S PHOEBE and
displaying WILSON'S SNIPE. We took a side trip up Old Goldendale Rd.,
finding LEAST SANDPIPER, REDHEAD, and a fairly cooperative SORA. The Least
got us to nine species of shorebird at the refuge.

We then continued west on Pumphouse, adding three WESTERN KINGBIRDS. and a
PRAIRIE FALCON, before heading north on Lateral C, where we found 4 soaring
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, two HOODED MERGANSERS, and a GREAT EGRET.

We then headed west on Marion Drain Rd. to Fort Simcoe State Park, which was
loaded with LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS, and we also saw HOUSE WREN and
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, as well as tons more RCKI and YRWA. The big
surprise at Fort Simcoe was a brief look at a LESSER GOLDFINCH atop one of
the oak trees.

After a nice picnic, we headed all the way up past Naches on US-12, where we
finally saw our first TURKEY VULTURES of the day, along with WHITE-THROATED
SWIFTS. At mp 182.5, we crossed the swinging footbridge and found a GRAY
FLYCATCHER and a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, along with HERMIT THRUSH and
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. A PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted across the highway
above the cliffs, as was a GOLDEN EAGLE. Just west of there, we called a
CANYON WREN down for great looks.

Bethel Ridge Rd. was our next stop. At the wet meadow that's fenced off
with split-rail, about 3.5 miles up, we had 3 CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS, and
stunning looks at a male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER. Dropping down about a
mile, we found a pair of BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS that were quite
cooperative.

We ended at Tieton State Airport Marsh, where there were a large number of
RING-NECKED DUCKS and BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, as well as a pair of CINNAMON
TEAL. As we dropped back down to Yakima, we found a couple of pairs of
HARLEQUIN DUCKS in the Tieton river.

For the day, I think we had 106 species. I know we had a great group of
people who had a great time.

== Michael Hobbs
== Kirkland, WA
== http://www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== http://www.marymoor.org/BirdBlog.htm
== birdmarymoor at frontier.com




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