[Tweeters] Stevens Pass

Andy Stepniewski steppie at nwinfo.net
Thu Feb 21 14:25:12 PST 2008


Kelly McAllister queries Tweeters today:

"Is there something special about the Steven's Pass area that sets it apart
from Snoqualmie Pass and White Pass? Is it just its latitude? If highway 20
was open, would we be seeing the same thing there?"

Pasted here is a trip report we took to White Pass several weeks ago. The
finch invasion in the mountains is evidently more widespread than just at
Stevens Pass. Offered here tongue-in-cheek only is the fact Stevens Pass
straddles the King County boundary!

WHITE PASS HIGHWAY
3 FEBRUARY 2008

Hi All,

We headed up the White Pass Highway to the pass. Gosh there sure is a lot of
snow in the Cascades. It's 10 feet deep on the level at the pass, pretty
impressive for early February.

The big news at the pass is the bountiful cone crops on hemlocks (both
Western and Mountain), true firs (both Amabilis and Subalpine), and
Engelmann
Spruce. We saw lots of finches, chickadees, and nuthatches poking about the
tops of these conifers at the pass and lower down along the Tieton Road. We
were hoping for White-winged Crossbill but had to be content with great
looks at Red Crossbills. Our most unusual sighting was of a flock of
Cassin's Finches at White Pass my first winter sighting of this species
from subalpine habitats in the Cascades. Almost as noteworthy were
Evening Grosbeaks at the pass.

Species list. Oak Creek below refers to the elk feeding area at
headquarters.

Bald Eagle - 6, Oak Creek but one adult on Rimrock Lake (lake completely
frozen).
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 1, Oak Creek
Golden Eagle - 1, Oak Creek
American Kestrel - 2, Oak Creek
California Quail - 1, Oak Creek
Rock Pigeon - 10, Oak Creek
Lewis's Woodpecker - 1, Oak Creek
Downy Woodpecker - 2, alders on Tieton Road
Northern Flicker - 1, Oak Creek
Gray Jay - 5, White Pass
Steller's Jay - 3 at Oak Creek, 2 at White Pass
Black-billed Magpie - 2, Oak Creek
American Crow - 2, Oak Creek
Common Raven - 7
Black-capped Chickadee - 2
Mountain Chickadee - 5
Chestnut-backed Chickadee - 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 5
American Dipper - 3
Northern Shrike - 1, Oak Creek
European Starling - 20, Oak Creek
Dark-eyed Junco - 10, Oak Creek
Cassin's Finch - 10, White Pass, top of an Amabilis Fir
House Finch - 3, Oak Creek
Red Crossbill - 5
Pine Siskin - 75
Evening Grosbeak - 5, White Pass

Andy and Ellen Stepniewski
Wapato WA
steppie at nwinfo.net





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