[Tweeters] Ptarmigan at Mt. Rainier

David Hayden dtvhm at nwrain.com
Sat Aug 4 19:27:56 PDT 2007

On Saturday 8/4/7, Kristin Stewart of the Black Hills Audubon led a 
field trip at Paradise, Mt. Rainier. The mountain remained  in the sun 
for most of  the morning, but by 1:00pm, clouds starting moving in. We 
started the morning with a stop at Longmire, where we had 3 Red 
Crossbills, 4 Vaux's Swifts, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Gray Jays, and 
1 Hutton's Vireo. We then arrived at Paradise about 8:00am. Our group 
was treated to 1 Evening Grosbeak and 7 Black-tailed Deer right next to 
the parking lot. The group of deer consisted of 1 doe and 6 bucks 
ranging from a spike to a 4-point. We hiked out of Paradise and went up 
the GoldenGate Trail. Along the way we had another buck, this one was a 
5-point, 2 Rufous Hummingbirds, and American Pipits with lots of 
immatures. At the intersection of the Golden Gate Trail and the Skyline 
Trail we had several Pine Siskins. We hiked  about another 1/2 mile up 
the Skyline Trail to where the trail cuts back to the left and starts 
going up. We heard "cluck" noises. We walked a little further up to 
where we could look down in  the wet meadow, with a small stream, and 
spotted a female White-tailed Ptarmigan with 4 chicks. Around the corner 
of the trail where the Lower Skyline Trail "T"'s into the Skyline Trail, 
we heard Gray-crowned Rosy Finches, but we were unsuccessful finding 
them.. We ate our lunch at the rock outcropping along the Lower Skyline 
Trail, before heading back down. On the way back, we once again checked 
for the Ptarmigan, and found them closer to the trail down below. The 
wildflowers were great, but still not prime time. The Lupines are just 
getting ready to bloom. As for butterflies, only 5 species; California 
Tortoiseshell, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Edith's Checkerspot, Silvery 
Blue, Arctic Blue, and a fritillary species, either a Mormon or one of 
the lessers.

Dave Hayden
dtvhm AT nwrain.com
Centralia, WA

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