Birding north of the border

Earlier this week, Sarah and I visited south central Washington to learn about the area's bird life.

We made Yakima our base camp for two nights and took trips to Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Simcoe State Park, the Wenas Valley, and the Columbia River.

We compiled a modest bird list, but we had some great individual-bird observations including fantastic views of flycatching Lewis's Woodpeckers (one of my favorite species) at Fort Simcoe.

While driving gravel roads in search of birds, we enjoyed great scenery, including amazing views of Mount Adams, the the ghost-like dome pictured above.

Many of the farms along the roads were growing hops, our favorite ingredient in beer.

When it was too hot to birds, we visited several of the area's many wineries and orchards. We brought home several bottles of reds, which are much "bigger" than the whites and pinot noir grown in the Willamette Valley, which gets less sun that the Columbia Basin.

Yakima area birds:
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cornorant
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Canada Goose
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
California Quail
Ring-necked Pheasant
Spotted Sandpiper
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Lewis's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Western Wood-Pewee
Eastern Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Willow Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
Western Scrub Jay
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-billed Magpie
Violet Green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Bank Swallow
Loggerhead Shrike
Warbling Vireo
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-breasted Chat
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


  1. Sounds like a great outing--always enjoy the farmers' stands when we're out that way.


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