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
Great Blue Heron
Eurasian Collared Dove
Western Scrub Jay
Violet Green Swallow