[Tweeters] Great Eastern WA Road Trip, Raptors, ETC. / Caryn / Wedgwood

Caryn Schutzler bluedarner1 at seanet.com
Wed Apr 20 09:38:06 PDT 2016

Hi Tweeters,

Last Tues - Sat, we made a nice loop, using our trusty Birder's Guide to WA (Opperman, et. al. - but you know that!) heading through Cle Elum, Ellensburg , Yakima, to see friends in Desert Aire, to Vantage back to Cle Elum and Seattle. A short but bird-packed adventure...which we'll repeat again this fall/winter to hopefully see even more raptors/ETC.

Since we don't list every single bird we see, here are the highlights and what we can remember! It was a great memory test to list what we could remember seeing - and where!

Wenas Valley (out of Ellensburg)
CA Quail
Great Horned owl in nest!!! / got photo thru scope (thanks Mary!!)
Mountain Bluebird (m/f) / first
Western Bluebird / (m/f) first
Mourning Doves
Am. Kestrels

Yakima Canyon
It was late afternoon and expected to see more than we did. Coolest thing were the sheep with about 10 babies! They were running all over the place
and you could hear the tumbling rocks as they played. We did see Bighorn (almost called them Great Horned!) sheep there a few years ago. These were female with smaller horns. Didn't see any males around the nursery! This made up for not seeing any birds - that we can remember! Maybe some Magpies?

Yakima / at Oxford Suites (right on the river)
(great place to stay - free drinks soup and salad 5-10pm and breakfast!) There is a ten-mile walk along the river.

Violet green swallows - a pair sat on our railing - gorgeous color
Deer (white tailed?)
House Finches
Yellow Rumped warblers
OUS (other unidentifiable species - WSS! (wouldn't sit still!)
Cliff Swallows (under the bridge along the river walk)

Toppenish NWR / Fort Simcoe
This place reminded me so much of Malheur! Especially when we heard winnowing!! Sure enough there were snipes and did get a photo of one! Which I did not see listed in the guide.
Golden Eagle!! (on the Pumphouse Road - sitting on a low outcrop)
Black necked Stilts
Pintail (2 pair)
Kestrels (saw many on this trip)
Lewis Woodpecker (first!) - all over the park just as the guide mentioned

Note: if you're on the road into the refuge, try not to be there at end of school day - the buses and other vehicles tear down the washboard road and if it's dry the dust is wicked!! Cover your scopes and close your windows!!!

Ahtanum Rd / St. Joseph Mission
Downy Woodpeckers
Kinglet (think it was RC)
Yellow Rumped Warblers
Red Naped Sapsucker (first!)

Moxee (Route 24)
This road gave us the most raptor sightings. Saw on Red Tail nearly motionless hovering over us into the wind. Even saw a little raptor love making! TMI??
Swainsons - one adult and one juvenile sitting on an irrigation wheel
Red Tails
Northern Harriers

Old Vantage Road to Cle Elum
This was another cool road to drive. Very scenic. Couldn't find any Burrowing Owls sadly. But I spotted one nest and it didn't look like much but there was something in it.
When I put the scope on it, there was a GH Owl and at least two, we think three babies bobbing around.

Just a bit further we spotted another nest which was a Red Tail nest with both male and female bringing food.

Want to do this trip over again! Using the Birder's Guide is a great resource, leading to some great birding. It was also great to have taken Bud Anderson's class to help identify so many raptors! Boy, it ain't easy!

That's all folks! Oh, except for ETC!!

Last nite the young Anna's sat on my finger again!! And the Bushtits are still in their nest. The garden is blooming now and it's good to be home but more birding to come!

Caryn / Wedgwood
Disclaimer - I'm sure I forgot a few birds, but I

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