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Chinook Pass - 1 October

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  • Andy Stepniewski
    CHINOOK PASS HIKE 1 OCTOBER 2006 I repeated the hike I took last Sunday north from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap, about three miles one-way. Westside stratus
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2006
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      CHINOOK PASS HIKE

      1 OCTOBER 2006



      I repeated the hike I took last Sunday north from Chinook Pass to Sourdough
      Gap, about three miles one-way. Westside stratus was streaming over the
      Cascade crest in the morning, otherwise great fall weather prevailed on my
      hike. Fall color from the mauve huckleberry leaves, bright scarlet of the
      Mountain Ash berries, and their bright yellow leaves was even more beautiful
      than a week ago. I highly recommend this moderate hike, especially the first
      part to Sheep Lake, if only for the fall colors!



      The shrubbery along the first part of the hike north from the pass held lots
      of Dark-eyed Juncos, Golden-crowned Sparrows and Fox Sparrows. This trip had
      numbers of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, not noted last week. Openings with
      huckleberries and Mountain Ash were swarming with American Robins and Varied
      Thrushes, many more than last week. There was at least one Pine Grosbeak
      among the thrushes, feasting on the ripe berries. As I entered the subalpine
      forest on the approach to Sheep Lake, I again heard numbers of
      Golden-crowned Kinglets and Red-breasted Nuthatches calling from the dense
      forest.



      I spent an hour at Sourdough Gap. Evidently, with the unsettled weather,
      raptors were not on the move. The neat sighting here was of a flock of
      Gray-crowned Rosy Finches that suddenly whirred past me at the gap, then
      circled and settled into the talus a few yards below me. Suddenly, a
      Sharp-shinned Hawk appeared and put them up. As the finches circled higher
      and higher, all the while calling, the Sharpie made a pass at one, but
      missed. The finches stayed high in the air, circling about for five minutes,
      before heading west towards Crystal Lakes. As with last week, I counted 15
      Clark's Nutcrackers flying south in a loose flock, evidently migrating to
      better sources of pine seeds.



      Birds noted:



      Northern Harrier - 1

      Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2

      Cooper's Hawk - 1

      Red-tailed Hawk - 3

      Northern Flicker - 4

      Gray Jay - 1

      Clark's Nutcracker - 15

      Common Raven - 5

      Mountain Chickadee - 10

      Chestnut-backed Chickadee - 1

      Red-breasted Nuthatch - 8

      Winter Wren - 3

      Golden-crowned Kinglet - 10

      Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 7

      Hermit Thrush - 1

      American Robin - 125

      Varied Thrush - 30

      American Pipit - 1

      Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4

      Fox Sparrow - 5

      Golden-crowned Sparrow - 20

      Dark-eyed Junco - 15

      Gray-crowned Rosy Finch - 15

      Pine Grosbeak - 1

      Pine Siskin - 5



      Andy Stepniewski

      Wapato WA

      steppie@...
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