White-tailed Ptarmigan at Sunrise - 11th Time's a Charm

Ruth Sullivan GODWIT at worldnet.att.net
Fri Aug 9 17:27:59 PDT 2002


Hello Ryan Charly and Tim,
Congratulation to all of you!!!!!!
There is hope for me to seeing this bird sometime.We went real early this
year,this is when Patrick had a male White-tailed Pharmigan in early
July.This last trip we took was the first day Sunrise open up,and we had to
walk on snow most of the way.But no Pharmigan.
You photos are very good to and thanks for posting  them.

Ruth Sullivan
Tacoma
----- Original Message -----
From: <Birdking88 at aol.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 2:32 PM
Subject: White-tailed Ptarmigan at Sunrise - 11th Time's a Charm


> Hey Tweeters,
>
>        Ryan Shaw, Tim Perkins, and I decided to try for ptarmigans at Mt
> Rainier today. This bird has eluded all of us for years, and this trip was
my
> 11th attempt at finding them. We headed up last night and camped at the
> nearly full White River Campground. We began hiking up the trail from
Sunrise
> towards Burroughs Mountain just after sunrise. Everything was pretty slow
> until the sun warmed the area enough for everything to become active. A
> couple of flocks of EVENING GROSBEAKS were in the area, and a few
> GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES and CASSIN'S FINCHES were also about.  We
continued
> to hike up First Burroughs with little activity noted, other than a few
> AMERICAN PIPITS and HORNED LARKS, and a number of RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS
zinging
> past.
>
>        We were all paying very close attention to the rocks and patches of
> heather along the trail, desperately hoping for a chicken to pop up. As it
> turns out, we needn't search hard at all. in the saddle between First and
> Second Burroughs at 7:00am, a female WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN jumped up onto
> the trail with a single chick chasing after! For the next 20 minutes we
> observed, photographed, and videotaped the birds at very close range. It
was
> a life bird for all three of us, and it was Ryan's last Washington
breeding
> bird (I still have one left). As we continued, the chick noticed that it
was
> lagging behind a bit more than it wanted to, and flew up to where the
female
> was feeding. Several video captures taken by myself are at the following
URL:
>
> http://home.attbi.com/~shyalbatross/ptarmigan.html
>
>        After that, we decided to hike the short distance further to Second
> Burroughs even though we had found our target species. Wonderful views of
the
> mountain, as we didn't see any clouds, haze, or fog of any kind the whole
> day. On the way back, we noticed a herd of 18 MOUNTAIN GOATS on the trail
to
> the Mt Fremont Lookout, and a CALIFORNIA GULL flew by seemingly out of
place.
> Several butterflies were seen as it warmed up later in the morning; the
> highlights were a female ACMON BLUE and a few ARCTIC (Titania)
FRITTILARIES.
> It was a very rewarding day at Mount Rainier.
>
> Good birding,
>
> Charlie Wright
> Birdking88 at aol.com
> Sumner, WA
>



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