What’s going on outside: December 9, 2021 | Outdoor and recreation

The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy would like to remind users to stay off their trails when they have too much rain or snowmelt.

All trails remain open, but after a hot and humid fall, the organization expects heavier rains or a cycle of snow and thaw could leave the trails vulnerable. Staying away from them at this time will help protect them in the long run.

WDFW purchases 290 acres in Yakima County

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the purchase of 290 acres of shrub steppe habitat in Yakima County at its meeting last Friday.

The Trépanier property connects the Cowiche and Oak Creek units of the Oak Creek Wildlife Area of ​​the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and will benefit both mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk. It has been valued at $ 220,000, which will be provided through a critical habitat grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation program of the Recreation and Conesrvation Office.

BIRD ALERT The small irrigation reservoir on Van Belle Road, just west of Sunnyside, provided a boon for rare birds in Yakima County this week. Bird watchers have come from all over the state to see the two kakawi ducks that arrived here, this duck breeds in the arctic and subarctic and winters south along the pacific coast, rarely appearing in our region. . Bird watchers looking for this little gem have also been treated to sights of a red-necked merganser, several bird-eared grebes and two snow geese, as well as hundreds of geese.

Other rarities this week included a swamp sparrow that has been spotted in the cattails and vegetation on the east side of Rotary Lake, a few short-eared owls hiding in the willows along Lombard Loop Road, a minor goldfinch in the neighborhood from Scenic Drive, a peregrine falcon near Granger and six American sparrows along Old Goldendale Road near the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge.

Winter is a great time to see unexpected birds in our area, so grab your binoculars and visit some of the great birding sites in Yakima County.

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CALENDAR

SATURDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will have a fun weekend three to six mile run with all paces and abilities welcome. Meet at 9 a.m. in the West Parking Lot of Chesterley Park, between the YMCA / Rotary Aquatics Center and 40th Avenue North in Yakima.

WEDNESDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will meet for their weekly 6pm run in Franklin Park, where they will run either on the track or on the street. If you plan on running on the street, bring a headlamp and wear reflective clothing.

GO OUTSIDE

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will cover six elevation-free miles around Prosser with stops along the way, including a lunch at Jade’s British Girl Treats. Call Libby at 509-961-2363 or Terry at 509-457-5351 for the time and location of the meeting.

SUNDAY: The Cascadians will organize a moderate hike or canoe trip to a destination to be determined. Call Kathleen at 509-307-8618, Kim at 509-307-3207 or Dawn at 509-654-0885 for more details.

MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will organize its monthly Zoom meeting from 7 to 9 pm on the theme “winter / snow”. Attendees can join the Cascadians Camera Club Zoom link, meeting number 899 4856 7669.

NEXT THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike four to five miles with no elevation gain for the 7th annual Cowiche Canyon hike before Christmas, starting at the east end. Call Donna at 509-452-3961 or Terry at 509-457-5351 for the time and location of the meeting.

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