[Tweeters] Ptarmigan again at Mt. Rainier (Sunday Aug 5)

AJ bluejay at surfbirder.com
Sun Aug 5 18:43:03 PDT 2007

Hello Everyone-

Today my sister, my partner and I went to Paradise mostly to see some
flowers, the mountain and hopefully run into some birds. Almost
immediately we had amazing luck with a Sooty Grouse female and one chick
crossing the road in front of us as we walked to the trail head near the
construction site at Paradise Inn. Continuing onto the Goldengate Trail
and up to the Skyline Trail, we found the hen White-tailed Ptarmigan
with her brood of four chicks in the same place as where Dave Hayden
described on Saturday- this is where the Skyline Trail swings to the
left and starts going up to it's intersection with the Lower Skyline
Trail (roughly 1/2 mile above it's intersection with the Goldengate
Trail); look down to the wet meadow with the braided stream. The chicks
actively foraged quite far from their parent and the hen was pretty
vocal allowing us to easily locate the family. They fed along the stream
in the greenery and then moved further east and south among the rocks
and more scattered vegetation while we were there. We had one fly over
Rufous Hummingbird here as well.

We continued onto the Upper Skyline Trail where we encountered
Gray-crowned Rosy-finches feeding young along the edge of the small snow
fields above the last small switchback before the trail levels out.
Heading down the Pebble Creek and Dead Horse Trails, we observed two
more Rufous Hummers flying over the meadows, plus loads of mammals
(Pikas, Hoary Marmots,ground-squirrels, chipmunks), and many people
heading upslope. Other birds present along the route included Gray Jays,
Clark's Nutcrackers, Chipping Sparrows, American Pipits, and Horned Larks.

The flowers are pretty wonderful up there- worth the trip just to see them!

Good birding, AJ

Alan J Knue
bluejay at surfbirder.com

Seattle, WA, USA

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