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AHTANUM NORTH FORK-NO SPRUCE GROUSE BUT YES ON BOREAL OWL!

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  • Andy Stepniewski
    Oct 20, 2013 Expand Messages
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      NORTH FORK AHTANUM SPRUCE GROUSE SEARCH

      20 OCTOBER 2013



      We spent much of a very fine fall day hiking the logging roads one mile west
      of the Gray Rock Trailhead on the North Fork Ahtanum. It was our fifth
      Spruce Grouse search in Yakima County this season! We saw droppings here and
      there along the tracks but sighting our target again eluded us.



      The fall colors were spectacular, especially the blazing yellow display of
      Western Larch and Black Cottonwood. Huckleberries were a bright maroon and
      red, beautiful, too.



      At miday, when the air was quite warm, songbirds were active and we tallied
      late warblers, Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, and Townsend's. Thrushes, too,
      were conspicuous, especially Varied, of which we counted 25 or so. However,
      finches were absent, unusual in our experience. I mean totally absent, not
      even a Pine Siskin!



      In late afternoon we headed up to the top of the North Fork Ahtanum to try
      for Boreal Owl. At about 7 pm at ~5800 feet elevation on the crest we heard
      two BOREAL OWLS, about a half-mile apart. Shortly the moon came up and we
      departed to Yakima. We felt quite pleased experiencing this bird of the
      northcountry, only little more than an hours drive from desert-like Yakima.


      Red-tailed Hawk 1
      Boreal Owl 2
      Hairy Woodpecker 2
      Northern Flicker 2
      Steller's Jay 3
      Clark's Nutcracker 3
      Common Raven 10
      Mountain Chickadee 10
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1
      Red-breasted Nuthatch 10
      Brown Creeper 3
      Pacific Wren 4
      Golden-crowned Kinglet 15
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
      Hermit Thrush 1
      American Robin 3
      Varied Thrush 25
      Orange-crowned Warbler 1
      Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
      Townsend's Warbler 1
      Golden-crowned Sparrow 1
      Dark-eyed Junco 15



      Andy and Ellen Stepniewski

      Wapato WA

      steppie@...