Today while monitoring the Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail, I came upon a White-breasted Nuthatch perched on the edge of one of the nest boxes. The nut would slowly spread its wings and tail feathers, lean forward and droop its head slightly to one side. At first I assumed it might be a begging juvenile, but a quiet one. It repeated these slow movements six to eight times, always appearing a bit dazed or lethargic. Toe caught in a crevasse and the bird was near exhaustion? An aged bird bothered by heat and creaky joints? Sometimes when I stand up, I pause to flex a balky shoulder, knee, hip, back, elbow, etc. This guy had a more elaborate and repetitive routine than I.
When a chipmunk hustled up into an adjacent bush, the nut flew up a couple of feet above the box, landed on the ponderosa pine bark and scampered upward in the fashion one expects of nuthatch. A burst of adrenalin? Or just the end of its daily yoga stretching?
In the Wenas, signs for the new Discover Pass have been placed at Umtanum Falls Parking lot, Hansen Ponds Road, Eleanor's Canyon, Black Canyon, Hessler Flats, but not at Hardy Canyon...least not that I saw. Nothing at the end of Audubon Road but I did not go up to the big yellow gate or the Wenas Campground.
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