Vaux's Swifts

About 10,000 Vaux's Swifts gather to roost inside the chimney at Chapman Elementary School in Portland, September 17, 2018. 


September hours extended at wildlife areas

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife extended its hours for most eastern Washington wildlife areas for September.

Public access is now be available from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. to help accommodate hunters. Overnight use remains prohibited along with fires due to high fire danger east of the Cascades.

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The Vaux’s swift southern migration has started and this week over 100 swifts from a large flock dropped down in to roost in the chimney at Johnson’s Auto Glass. The rest of the flock disappeared just as a peregrine falcon flew through parking lot at roof level. A search of the area turned up a peregrine falcon perched on the south face of Larson Building. Later in the week, over 300 were noted but none appeared to enter the chimney. Swift numbers should increase in the coming weeks as migration continues.

A birder hiking the trail to Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap tallied 14 species with Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, northern pygmy-owl, both Canada and Steller’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker, common raven, golden-crowned kinglet, red-breasted nuthatch, varied thrush, chipping sparrow, dark-eyed junco, white-crowned sparrow and yellow-rumped warbler all being found.

A resident along Wide Hollow Road had three species of hummingbirds this week with black-chinned, Anna’s and rufous hummingbirds all competing for food. He also had two young western tanagers feeding on his grapes and a Wilson’s warbler.

The Yakima Valley Audubon Society “Second Saturday Bird Walk” is open to public. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Yakima Arboretum parking lot. We’ll be birding as a group in the Arboretum and along the Greenway for approximately two hours.

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SATURDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will host a weekend social run at a variety of distances and paces. Meet at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. at the Yakima Greenway parking lot at US Highway 12 and Old Naches Highway.

SUNDAY: Girls with Grit will host a Red, White & Blue 5K at 11 a.m. on the Naches path to kick off the town’s Centennial Celebration and Farm + Vendor Market. Register at for entry fees of $5 for kids 11 and under, $35 for ages 12-18 and $40 for adults, who will also get a Bella Canvas Race T with a logo designed by Shannon Mahre.

WEDNESDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will meet for its weekly fun run at 6 p.m. at Franklin Park, where they run either on the track or the street.

GETTING OUTDOORSTHURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike four to six miles with no more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain to a destination to be determined depending on wildfire smoke. Call Lynne at 509-952-5059 for meeting time and place.

FRIDAY: The Cascadians will host Golf 4 Fun at River Ridge Golf Course in Selah. Call Sharon at 610-703-6750 to reserve a tee time.

MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will host its monthly meeting on Zoom with the theme “Harvest.” Participants phone in to join at 253-215-8782.

TUESDAY: The Cascadians Free Spirits will hike 8+ miles with 1,800 feet of elevation gain along the Skyline Trail Loop from Paradise, with a short side trip up Pebble Creek at Mt. Rainier National Park, Green Trails map 270A, Mt. Rainier Paradise. Departure is at 7 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. The park limits groups to 12 people, so club members will have first priority but nonmembers are welcome if space permits. Bring the 13 essentials. Call Nancy at 509-823-7638 to sign up. Drivers will need to bring a Senior Pass, National Parks Pass or be prepared to pay the park entrance fee.

WEDNESDAY: The Cascadians will host a ladies-only backpacking trip at Glacier Basin at Mt. Rainier with 10 miles of hiking on Wednesday and Thursday. Space is limited. Contact Kim at 509-853-8698 for details.

NEXT THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike seven miles with 950 feet of elevation gain to Cramer Lake near White Pass. Call Carol at 509-833-7989 or Rudy at 509-952-6269 for meeting time and place.

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