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Yakima Herald-Republic file

Pheasants Forever gearing up for spring

The Yakima Chapter of Pheasants Forever will host its annual dinner on Saturday at the Yakima Valley Sportsman Association and plans to go out into the field for a pheasant count the following weekend.

A trap shoot will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. and kids ages 9-18 can shoot free. Yakima Valley Sportsmen’s Association members can shoot for $5 per round or nonmembers can shoot for $8 per round.

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. and will feature information on the group’s new initiatives and plans, including the Pheasant Restoration Project led by Mark Meyocks. Steve Jarvis of Valley Quail and Habitat will also be speaking, and a raffle will be held for guns and other prizes.

To register, go to www.yakimapf311.org and for more information contact Brad Coughenoor at 509-263-3856 or Mark Meyocks at 509-834-8378.

 

Button shoot goes on even as cold persists

A foot of snow and 8 degree temperatures couldn’t stop D.J. Blankenship and Steve Hert from winning Men’s Division buttons at Week 10 of the W.K. Button Shoot.

Rick Bueschel, Bruce Anderson and Hank McClearly all earned buttons in the Super Senior Division. Next Sunday’s shoot-off and potluck starts at 10 a.m. sharp.

 

BIRD ALERT

Wow! Last week it was the wayward long-tailed duck that showed up on I-82 pond #4 between Buena and Sawyer, which by the way is still being seen and enjoyed by many birders, and this week it’s a mew gull that was spotted on Buchanan Lake mixed in with several ring-billed and California gulls. A diminutive little gull, the smallest of the “white-headed” gulls, the mew gull is common along Pacific Coast beaches in winter, but very rare in Yakima County.

Buchanan Lake, being a very deep body of water, seems to attract a lot of waterfowl. Besides the gulls, this week birders noted American wigeon, mallard, canvasback, common goldeneye, Barrow’s goldeneye and common merganser.

A couple of local birders took advantage of a beautiful day by hiking up Soup Creek from the Sno-Park where they spotted four Canada jays. They also encountered wild turkeys, golden eagle, an adult northern goshawk that flew over giving great views, a northern pygmy owl, Cassin’s finch, pine siskin and they also spotted a banded male white-headed woodpecker that turned out to be a bird banded as a juvenile in 2016.

And a sure sign that spring is just around the corner is the notable sighting of two violet green swallows at the Selah cliffs this week.

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 their Facebook page.

SATURDAY: La Salle is hosting the 16th annual Shamrock Cup 6K Fun Run and Walk at the high school, with registration and check-in starting at 7:30 a.m. and the race at 9 a.m. Fees are $20 for adults and $15 for students, or $25 on the day of the race, and awards will be given to the top three finishes in each age group. For more information, call La Salle at 509-225-2900 or go to lasalleyakima.com.

SUNDAY: Learn from wildlife biologist Jeff Kozma about how to attract birds to your yard with the right trees and feeders, and which birds are most likely to visit. The class costs $20 for Yakima Audubon Members or $25 for non-members. For more information and to register, go to ahtrees.org.

 

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike Lady Bird Peak at Konnowac Pass near Moxee, a five-mile trek with a fairly steady incline. Bring lunch, water, poles and the 13 Essentials. Call Libby at 509-837-3609 or Linda at 509-969-8907 for meeting time and place.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will snowshoe at Bumping Lake off of Highway 410, Green Trails map 271, 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.

ALSO TUESDAY: Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness will host its weekly road rides with various distances and paces for different skill levels. Meet at the store at 6 p.m. and be ready to roll out at 6:15 to ride until around 7.

THURSDAY, MARCH 21: The Pathfinders will hike five miles with 500 feet of elevation gain at Dusty Lake, east of Vantage near Quincy. Bring water, poles, lunch and the 13 Essentials. Drivers need a Discover Pass. Call Rudy at 509-248-7304 for meeting time and place.