photos from the ptarmigan trip
- Hi Yakkers,
Unfortunately, my photos aren't of a White-tailed Ptarmigan. I did get
photos of a Clark's Nutcracker digging seeds out of cones on a Whitebark
Pine Tree. It was interesting to see this after reading the article on
Clark's Nutcrackers and Whitebark Pines by Scott Sandsberry in the Yakima
Herald Republic a couple of weeks ago.
Andy's e-mail about the trip didn't quite tell the full story. The hike
was incredibly grueling, with a lot of elevation gain. The ptarmigan
chasers are showing their age, especially this one. We were on the trail
for 12 and a half hours, covering between 12 and 14 miles. There were lots
of stops for birding, which extended the trip. The trail ended at about
six miles from the car. Ellen and I went on and searched for ptarmigan in
minimal habitat for two hours.
It was a long , long day hiking through really nice forest with stunning
views of Mt. Rainier and, of course, Mt. Adams. The glaciers on the north
side of Mt. Adams are incredible when viewed from a mile or two away. We
also saw a volcanic cinder cone on the northeast side of Mt. Adams. The
hike did take its tole on us, though. My ankles were so sore Sunday
morning that I had to drive myself 40 yards to the outhouse! Today is the
first day I have been able to walk without pain. We are already, though,
talking about a trip next year.
I got a photo of a female Common Merganser with one duckling at the Trout
Meadows RV Park north of Trout Lake. These photos are in the new photos
folder on my website.
The best way to get to ptarmigan habitat in Yakima County might be to hire
a packer and ride a horse. If anyone has a horse we can practice on early
next summer, please let me know. I'd hate to get on a horse at Conrad
Meadows, ride ten miles in and find that my legs were so sore I couldn't
walk for a couple of days!
* Denny Granstrand *
* Yakima, WA *
* dgranstrand@... *
* Denny's bird photos can be seen online at: *