Peregrine falcon
Photo illustration of a Peregrine Falcon

Snow limits competitors in button shoot

Heavy snowfall greeted the shooters able to make the drive to the Pomona Gun Club for Week 6 of the W.K. Button Shoot.

With no competitors in the Youth, Women, or Super Senior divisions, Dale Klingele, Joel Froehlic, Joel Moberly and Paul Klingele all took home buttons in the Men’s division. Dave Hoffert and Ken Sanden won buttons in the Senior division.

 

BIRD ALERT

After the onslaught of winter weather this week I’ve decided the phrase “eats like a bird” obviously wasn’t coined in winter. In the extreme conditions we have experienced the birds have to find food all day to build up as much fat as they possibly can. Then, they find a place to roost out of the wind where there is some protection and basically shiver until dawn. Fortunately, I had plenty of seed to get me through our period of being snowed in, but as soon as our road was open I had to make a dash to the store to load back up on seed.

So with all that in mind it is no wonder that most of this week’s bird sighting reports come from backyard feeders. Five different people noted varied thrush in their yards for the first time and there were also quite a few reports of unusual numbers of spotted towhees. Anna’s hummingbirds were seen at three several local feeders, proving the hardiness of these little jewels.

A Terrace Heights resident spotted a peregrine falcon perched on the power pole behind his house. He has now seen all four of Washington’s breeding falcons on this pole: American kestrel, merlin, prairie falcon and now peregrine falcon. Another peregrine falcon was spotted around the Larson Building.

With all the feeder action going on you may want to join in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, now in its 22nd year. It will take place Friday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 18. During this popular citizen science event, people from all over the world head outdoors to count birds and the data are used by scientists to track the health of bird populations.

Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Please email your bird sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/yakimaaudubon or visit our website at yakimaaudubon.org.

Kerry L. Turley

 

ON THE CALENDAR

THURSDAY: The Yakima River Runners will offer a kayak roll practice for $5 per person from 8:30-9:30 p.m. at the Yakima Athletic Club. Boats may be available for beginners who contact the group via its  Facebook page.

SATURDAY: Kids ages five through 12 are invited to the Yakima Area Arboretum for a “Love Birds” themed Kids Nature Night, where participants will be able to learn about different birds and how they attract their mates. The event goes from 5-9 p.m. at a cost of $33 per child and $18 for each additional child. Pizza, snacks and lemonade will be provided. For more information and to register, go to the arboretum’s Facebook page.

TUESDAY: The Yakima Fly Fishers Association is hosting its final free weekly basic fly tying class at 6:30 p.m. at the Memorial Bible Church in Yakima. Materials and loaner tools are provided. Contact Ron Buermann at 509-952-3971 or rtb351@gmail.com for more information.

 

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will snowshoe or cross-country ski in the Teanaway area, a five-mile trip with minimum elevation gain. Bring water, lunch, warm clothing and the 13 Essentials. Call Greg at 509-453-2374.

FRIDAY: The Cascadians will traipse in the fresh snow on the northeast slopes of White’s Ridge in the Ahtanum State Forest, a walk of four to six miles depending on snow depth and conditions. This walk in the woods is also suitable for both snowshoes and touring skis (bring skins as the grade is significant in places). Be prepared for winter weather and the group will depart from the Chesterley Park parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Drivers will need a Discover Pass. For more information, call Kim Hull at 509-853-8698.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits and the Trekkers will ski/snowshoe at a location to be determined based on weather just before the Free Spirits depart at 8 a.m. and the Trekkers depart at 7:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot across from the Powerhouse Grill. Call Mic Powell at 509-248-1268 or Dean Hata at 509-388-6375 with any questions regarding the Free Spirits outing and drivers will need a Sno-Park Permit.

THURSDAY, FEB. 21: The Pathfinders will snowshoe or hike on the Tieton Nature Trail off of US Highway 12, a popular Pathfinder trek close to town, through the forest and along a river. Mother Nature will decided on the activity for the day. Bring water, lunch, warm clothing and the 13 Essentials. Call Wies at 509-965-7587 for meeting time and place.