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White Pass Highway Sunday May 4

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  • Andy Stepniewski
    WHITE PASS HIGHWAY 4 MAY 2003 Ellen and I and Brian Bell birded lower elevations of the White Pass Highway today, encountering good numbers of birds in the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2003
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      4 MAY 2003

      Ellen and I and Brian Bell birded lower elevations of the White Pass Highway
      today, encountering good numbers of birds in the variety of forest types
      along the way.

      We began on the Old Naches Road. Warblers were moving west along the canal
      bank trail here (0.1 mile north of junction of US-12 and SR-410). We saw
      Orange-crowned (3), Nashville (3), Yellow-rumped (40), and Townsend's (2)
      Warblers here plus both Golden-crowned (1), and White-crowned (10) Sparrows.
      Over the cliffs south of the Naches River were a few White-throated Swifts
      and Violet-green Swallows. Scanning Cleman Mountain, we saw no raptors and
      noted only one bird, a calling Say's Phoebe. Across SR-410 in the Garry Oak
      groves were several Lewis's Woodpeckers. We commented this was a really nice
      birding trail through numbers of birds weren't exceptionally high today.

      The trail up Bear Canyon is a lovely walk, indeed, in a gorge rimmed by tall
      cliffs. Garry Oak, Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Quaking Aspen are the
      common trees in the canyon, but an array of fruiting shrubs and other plants
      make this a rich habitat for birds. Here we tallied Vaux's Swift, one
      Hammond's Flycatcher, Steller's Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, one Canyon Wren and
      Townsend's Solitaire, Nashville (8+) Warblers, Spotted Towhee, and Chipping
      Sparrows. Again, we noted this was a productive birding trail, though we
      were early in the season and quite a number of birds were not in evidence.

      Along US-12 at milepost 176 was a pair of Harlequin Ducks resting on a
      boulder in the roiling Naches River.

      Next on our trip was a drive up to Lost Lake (FR-1201). Several Cassin's
      Vireos and numbers (10 or so) of Townsend's Warblers were on territory
      singing, even though it was coolish and blustery. Farther along Tieton Road
      we made a left onto FR-1202 and in a third of a mile stopped by a swampy
      area and set off on foot into the woods. A ten-minute walk brought us to a
      series of swampy small lakes surrounded by marsh and aspen groves. We found
      lots of birds on this circuit, including Canada Geese, Wood Duck (4),
      Green-winged Teal, Mallard, and Ring-necked Duck. Notable forest birds here
      included a pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers. Both sexes were on separate live
      Ponderosa Pines. They had drilled lots of wells in these trees and were
      quietly probing for sap.

      Clear Lake had lots of duck action. We scoped Ring-necked (30), Barrow's
      Goldeneye (15), Bufflehead (2), and Hooded (1) and Common (10 Mergansers
      from shore here. Finally, at the east end of Rimrock Lake, we noted Common
      Loon and Osprey.

      Species list:

      Common Loon
      Turkey Vulture
      Canada Goose
      Wood Duck
      Green-winged Teal
      Ring-necked Duck
      Harlequin Duck
      Barrow's Goldeneye
      Hooded Merganser
      Common Merganser
      Red-tailed Hawk
      Golden Eagle
      American Kestrel
      Blue Grouse
      California Quail
      American Coot
      Vaux's Swift
      White-throated Swift
      Lewis's Woodpecker
      Red-naped Sapsucker
      Williamson's Sapsucker
      Downy Woodpecker
      Hairy Woodpecker
      Northern Flicker
      Cassin's Vireo
      Hammond's Flycatcher
      Dusky Flycatcher
      Say's Phoebe
      Western Kingbird
      Tree Swallow
      Violet-green Swallow
      Cliff Swallow
      Steller's Jay
      Clark's Nutcracker
      Black-billed Magpie
      American Crow
      Common Raven
      Black-capped Chickadee
      Mountain Chickadee
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee
      Red-breasted Nuthatch
      White-breasted Nuthatch
      Canyon Wren
      American Dipper
      Golden-crowned Kinglet
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet
      Townsend's Solitaire
      Thrush, sp
      American Robin
      European Starling
      Orange-crowned Warbler
      Nashville Warbler
      Yellow-rumped Warbler
      Townsend's Warbler
      Spotted Towhee
      Chipping Sparrow
      Song Sparrow
      Golden-crowned Sparrow
      White-crowned Sparrow
      Dark-eyed Junco
      Red-winged Blackbird
      Western Meadowlark
      Brewer's Blackbird
      Brown-headed Cowbird
      House Finch
      Pine Siskin
      American Goldfinch
      Evening Grosbeak

      Andy Stepniewski
      Wapato WA
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