[Tweeters] Sooty Grouse on Mount Rainier

gneavoll at comcast.net gneavoll at comcast.net
Fri Oct 1 18:54:04 PDT 2010

Hans-Joachim Feddern and I encountered a pair of SOOTY GROUSE crawling among the branches of the blueberry bushes along Deadhorse Creek Trail in Mount Rainier National Park on Wednesday afternoon (9/29/10). Movement in the reddish foliage had caught our eye as we passed; otherwise, we would not have seen them. Neither bird showed the slightest sign of fear; we could have reached out and touched either one.

A PRAIRIE FALCON circled with 2-3 COMMON RAVENS over Panorama Point. White-tailed Ptarmigans, our target species, had been reported at Glacier Vista overlooking the Nisqually Glacier, but we did not find them.

A small flock of MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES was at the picnic area on the s.w. approach to Paradise.

Shorebirds were scarce at Ocean Shores the following day (9/30/10), though our species count was high. The Weatherwax property purchased for preservation by the City of Ocean Shores, with its GOLDEN- and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and singing PACIFIC WRENS, holds high promise for forest birds. The RED-NECKED GREBE reported previously remains grounded on shore n. of the jetty. Hans saw a LONG-TAILED WEASEL crossing the road on the Oyehut Game Range.

The Hoquiam sewage treatment pond was covered with at least 12 waterfowl species. One spinning RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was there, as well.

One of the day's more spectacular sights was the massive VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK migration still under way along the grass-covered dunes lining Sand Dune Avenue on the Ocean Shores peninsula's w. side. It was hard to get an accurate count, but the dragonfly stream was steady, heading due s. on an assisting strong wind.

George Neavoll
S.W. Portland

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