[Tweeters] Kittitas County Yesterday

B B birder4184 at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 25 08:24:22 PDT 2016


I thought about a two day trip to Klickitat County to try to find an Acorn Woodpecker yesterday but due to what turned out to be some confusion about weekend plans I decided on another "K" County instead - a tour of some favorite and new spots in Kittitas County.
My first stop was at Bullfrog Ponds and environs - which has definitely become a favorite spot.  I was finally able to get a decent Veery photo (several there) and Yellow Warblers were abundant.   I flushed a single Ruffed Grouse.  Other easier birds were Gray Catbird, Willow Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee and across the road - Western Bluebird, Red Naped and Red Breasted Sapsuckers, House Wren and Chipping Sparrow - all told 33 species.
I then visited Swauk Cemetery and Swauk Prairie heading up to Blewett Pass Highway.  Lots of Bluebirds and Sparrows.  Off Blewett Pass Highway (Hwy 97) I visited Liberty which is always fun - many Hermit Thrushes including one for a good photo. Many Rufous and a possible Calliope Hummingbird at the feeders and at the end of the road at the turnaround Pine Siskins, Evening Grosbeaks and Cassin's finches were feeding/gravelling with other birds in the area. 
I then birded along FR 9716 just at Blewett Pass for several miles hoping to find grouse and maybe a Clark's Nutcracker.  No luck on those but there were many warblers (especially MacGillivray's) nuthatches, chickadees, tanagers etc.
I then retraced steps (this was not efficient or well planned) and went to Robinson Canyon where two Nighthawks flew over as did a Sharp Shinned Hawk (being harassed by swallows).  Lots of Tanagers and Grosbeaks and at least 5 Lazuli Buntings.  I went up a road heading to the left (going into the Canyon) where I had never been - beautiful views but it was very windy so not a lot of birds found.  Unfortunately I was not quick enough for a photo but had a brief view of two adult California Quail with at least 5 tiny chicks.
My last destination was up Umtanum Road.  Lots of stops along the way.  No White Headed Woodpeckers but many Bluebirds - both Mountain and Western with many young birds.  Also both Eastern and Western Kingbirds, lots of Brewer's and Vesper Sparrows and empids and Pewees.
During the entire trip I did not see a single shorebird (wrong habitat but there could have been a Killdeer) and the only waterfowl was a group of Canada Geese from the bridge just before Bullfrog Pond.  Nonetheless I found 81 species for the day and enjoyed sunshine if not the wind.
Some photos can be seen at:  https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNVwMuiIA8UF8qiU_rwry1u6KA322yhV7-W-Y8q_0sDSuYZRcHgzvseInQVTHqU4A?key=eU56c1BaYzRJM191UkphU2cwWmNLb1lhVW1xMmF3

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