[Tweeters] Rainier is cooler than Othello

Hill hill at smwireless.net
Sun Jul 23 00:04:22 PDT 2006

Even though the temperature was 82 at 2:00 pm at the Sunrise Visitor's Center today (Saturday), it was already 100 when we went through Yakima. And it was 88 when we got home at 10 pm. So, is anything out on a very warm afternoon in Mt Rainier NP? Not a lot, but enough of interest. I was able to photograph a Horned Lark family, a female Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, and a male White-tailed Ptarmigan between First Burroughs and Second Burroughs Mountains. Around 4 pm the ptarmigan was 20' off the trail about 40 yards north of the snow bank along the trail (thanks to those who spotted it shortly before I came back through.) Also near the top were a pipit and a Mountain Bluebird. Returning to Sunrise on the lower (Sunrise Ridge?) trail about 1/3 mile from the visitor's center a Sooty Grouse was hooting (excuse me, my wife says owls hoot, although this does not apply to the owls in the movie HOOT, while these grouse hoo or who or boom but don't make Great Horned Owl calls, though I have yet to hear an owl end a call with a T). Anyway, this hooter was parked near the top of a 40' conifer and rather easy to see, right over the trail, around 5:15 pm.

Ptarmigan have been seen somewhat regularly in this area this month so it might be worth that 6th or 8th or 15th try if you still haven't seen a ptarmigan. I think this was about 7 times for me above Sunrise always looking for them but never finding, but I would have passed right by it if it hadn't moved for a watchful eye and word of mouth. During my 8 minutes watching it moved its head a few times but was parked between rocks sitting quietly for 7 of those minutes.

Randy Hill

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