[Tweeters] Mt Baker, Hart's Pass (Northern Hawk Owl), and Salmon Meadows (photos)

Mansfield, Tom tom.mansfield at klgates.com
Mon Sep 29 13:30:51 PDT 2008

Tweets - Slight correction to Khanh's hilarious post: The next morning
we did not return to Meadows Campground but ascended Lone Frank Pass
near Conconully to search for (and find!) Boreal Chickadees. Three
Lifers for me and a high energy, 800 mile weekend with Khanh, who had
all of the karma and worked the "Fancy Chicken and Spumoni Finch" magic
for which he is so well known.

Tom Mansfield, Seattle.

-----Original Message-----
From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Khanh
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 1:16 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Mt Baker, Hart's Pass (Northern Hawk Owl),and Salmon
Meadows (photos)

Hi Tweets,

I had the great pleasure of birding with the amicable and generous Tom
Mansfield this weekend in hopes of finding some fancy chickens and
boreal birds. We succeeded in finding all our target birds and an
unexpected one, a NORTHERN HAWK OWL! We had great kharma for this trip,
as the birding Buddha looked upon us and shined. We were fortunate to
have several priceless moments and many cooperative, photogenic birds..

We started our whirlwind trip at Mt. Baker under foggy conditions but
managed to find two male WHITE TAILED PTARMIGANS. While Sir Tom was
snapping photos, a noisy GRAY CROWNED ROSYFINCH breezed over our heads.
We found several cooperative SOOTY GROUSE perched up on rocks on our way
up Table Mountain. Some of them looked very zenlike and ethereal against
the foggy conditions.

Our next, stop was Hart's Pass late Saturday afternoon. As we drove
towards Meadows Campground in hopes of finding other birds, I spotted an
accipter/owl like silhouette, and immediately shouted to Tom, Holy XXXX,
thats a NORTHERN HAWK OWL!! We immediately got out of our cars to get
better views as the bird remained up high on a snag for ten minutes.
What a gorgeous creature.

Proceeding onward to look for Boreal chickadees, we instead heard and
found a NORTHERN PYGMY OWL at a distance. Returning to the car, I
looked up to a Western Larch, and spotted a female SPRUCE GROUSE
actively feeding on the needles. We also found a low feeding female,
AMERICAN THREE TOE shortly before seeing the hawkowl again.

Next morning, we ascended to Salmon Meadows and was successful in
finding up to three BOREAL CHICKADEES among a mixed flock of birds. This
time of year, the latte colored birds looked really pretty and crisp.
Later, Tom spotted a very gorgeous male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER while
looking for a male SPRUCE GOURSE. En route, we had several CHUCKARS,
and a soaring pair of GOLDEN EAGLES, and one COMMON LOON on Conconully

We ended the trip by making a quick stop at the Leavenworth's Fish
Hatchery, and immediately found a female WHITE HEADED WOODPECKER about 5
feet above our heads. It was quite tame and drew a mini crowd of
non-birders as well. Also found a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and perky DIPPER
along this cool, nature trail. A nice way to end the trip!!

I posted a few scant PHOTOS to my website. Wait until you see what is
between Tom's legs!!

We had a BLAST on this fun, successful adventure.


Good birding,

Khanh Tran (Portland, Oregon)

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