200319-yh-sports-whats.jpg

A Bewick’s wren as seen at the Yakima Area Arboretum. More of Denny Grandstrand’s photos can be found at www.granstrand.net/gallery/. (Photo courtesy Denny Granstrand)

Shooting range to close for construction

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will close the target shooting range off Sheep Company Road for six to seven weeks of construction, which is set to begin Monday.

Improvements to the site on the Wenas Wildlife Area will follow the recommendations of the department’s 20-person advisory group that met several times throughout 2017. Regional manager Ross Huffman said he’s hopeful improvements to the Durr Road site will follow, and new rules could be approved at the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s June meeting. For more information, go to wdfw.wa.gov.

Klingele wins club title at Button Shoot

Dale Klingele edged out James Klingele and Glen Lowrie to come out on top among 50 shooters vying for the club championship trophy at the Yakima Valley Sportsman Association W.K. Button Shoot.

Rick White broke the only perfect score to earn the trophy in the Men’s division and John Cushing won the Super Senior trophy. Jennifer Klingele captured the Ladies division trophy and Tristan Eims broke a 22 to take home the junior division trophy.

Don Lint broke a 24 to win the Senior trophy. Lowrie finished as the 16 champion, while Joe Mills earned the High Average and John Klingele won the Annie Oakley competition.

BIRD ALERT

A Yakima Valley Audubon member was surprised at how many birds (33 species) were still visible in the bad weather this past Saturday. Birding from Sarg Hubbard Park to the Arboretum bird blind, she noted both tree and violet green swallows flying against the wind. The Arboretum bird blind still had plenty of birds, including a white-throated sparrow. Other birds of interest included Bewick’s wren, bald eagle, golden-crowned sparrow, belted kingfisher, Stellar’s jay and yellow-rumped warbler.

A couple of birders hiking the trail from the Yakima River to Selah Butte spotted a flock of gray-crowned rosy finches moving around, feeding near grasses and rocks for a few minutes, then the huge flock of at least 200, flew away. These tough-as-nails birds nest in the most unlikely of places: on mountaintops, cliff tops and rock piles in pockets of the Mountain West, as well as British Columbia and Alaska.

A birding trip on Bethel Ridge turned up some interesting woodland birds including very vocal and very active male and female Williamson’s sapsucker, hairy woodpecker, Steller’s jay, mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch and western bluebird.

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

ON THE CALENDAR

THURSDAY: A Discover Pass won’t be needed for day use parking at Washington’s state parks to celebrate State Parks’ 107th birthday.

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike 3-4 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain from Cave B Inn near the Gorge Amphitheater down to Babcock Bench and the Columbia River. Lunch will be eaten on the trail, not at a restaurant, so pack accordingly. Call Carol at 509-833-7989 for meeting time and place. Avoid carpooling if possible for all Cascadian outings.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will hike 6-7 miles with minimal elevation gain along the Tieton River Trail, Green Trails map 305, with departure at 8 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. Drivers will need a Discover Pass. Call Nancy at 509-823-7638 with any questions.

ALSO TUESDAY: The Cascadian Trekkers will hike the Yakima Skyline Trail. Call Sharon at 509-697-6896 with any questions.

ALSO TUESDAY: The Cascadians will ski or snowshoe at a destination to be determined, with departure at 8 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot.

THURSDAY, MARCH 26: The Pathfinders will hike 6 miles out and back with minimal elevation gain along the Yakima Greenway. Call Bob at 509-457-2014 for meeting time and place.

Reach Luke Thompson at luthompson@yakimaherald.com and on Twitter: @luketscribe