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A Hammond’s Flycatcher photographed near Clear Lake in the Cascades. For more of George Vlahakis’ birding photos, go to www.pbase.com/photon180. (Photo courtesy George Vlahakis)

Mattoon Lake treated for weeds

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife implemented herbicide treatments to control noxious weeds at Mattoon Lake just south of Ellensburg off of I-90.

Fishing and recreation won’t be affected by the work done this week to control Eurasian and hybrid watermilfoils at the western end of the lake. The shoreline will also be treated to control yellow flag iris, a plant that impedes casting access for fishing.

Funding for the treatment comes from a state Department of Ecology grant. The Kittitas Noxious Weed Control Board and local anglers provided input on the project.

Bird Alert

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A couple of Yakima birders undaunted by the soaring temperatures birded south of Mt. Adams from FR-8020, just west of Gotchen Guard Station at 3,600 feet elevation, then went west and down in elevation to about 2,800 feet. The habitat went from an old partial burn of grand fir, ponderosa pine, western larch and an occasional Engelmann spruce, progressing to a healthier unburned forest of Douglas fir, grand fir, ponderosa pine and vine maple as they proceeded to FR-8020.

Aside from the beautiful scenery they compiled a trip list of 42 species of birds. The highlights included band-tailed pigeon and a male sharp-shinned hawk that appeared agitated and called frequently. Woodpecker species noted were red-breasted sapsucker, hairy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker and northern flicker. Flycatchers were also abundant with olive-sided flycatcher, western wood-pewee, Hammond’s flycatcher and dusky flycatcher all present.

They also spotted Cassin’s vireo, warbling vireo, mountain chickadee, chestnut-backed chickadee, violet-green swallow, golden-crowned kinglet, brown creeper, hermit thrush, Cassin’s finch, red crossbill and pine siskin. The area is also known for its variety of warblers and they were able to find orange-crowned warbler, Nashville warbler, MacGillivray’s warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, black-throated gray warbler and Wilson’s warbler, as well western tanager and black-headed grosbeak.

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

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