[Tweeters] Naches Pass area birding
matt.dufort at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 14:30:31 PDT 2016
I spent yesterday birding the Naches Pass area at the corner of King,
Pierce, Kittitas, and Yakima counties. I focused my efforts in King
County, around Government Meadows, Windy Gap, and Kelly Butte. This area
is usually full of interesting birds, and yesterday was no exception.
Nashville Warblers and Chipping Sparrows seem unusually common up there
this summer. I found 5 singing male Nashvilles at three different sites;
one along FR 7000 below the sharp switchback, two along FR 7080 before it
crosses over the ridge into Kittitas County, and two along FR 7036 just
southwest of Windy Gap. Chipping Sparrows were plentiful around the upper
Government Meadow and at Windy Gap.
Government Meadows and the Naches Trail produced large numbers of common
species, plus a Three-toed Woodpecker foraging in the woods at the
northwest edge of the upper meadow, and a singing Pine Grosbeak.
The Windy Gap area had the Nashvilles and Chippings noted above, plus
singing Cassin's Finches and a small group of Mountain Bluebirds.
I struggled to find raptors, despite what seemed like good conditions for
them; only Kestrel and Turkey Vulture for the day.
A late hike up Kelly Butte yielded more views than birds, but a skylarking
Townsend's Solitaire made for a nice end to the day.
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