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Black Swifts and woodpeckers east of Chinook Pass-August 17

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  • Andy Stepniewski
    Yakkers, We spent Sunday morning in what we call Mesatchee Meadows. This is an area of soggy sedge meadows, ponds, interspersed with shrubby willow and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18 11:54 AM
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      Yakkers,

      We spent Sunday morning in what we call "Mesatchee Meadows." This is an
      area of soggy sedge meadows, ponds, interspersed with shrubby willow and
      alder thickets surrounded by dense "Wetside" forest. These meadows occupies
      parts of the American River bottomlands, a wide glacier-carved valley
      southwest of the Mesatchee Creek Trailhead on the Chinook Pass Highway about
      10 miles east of the summit. Though we started in early morning, it was
      still a very warm and muggy trip.

      Our main goal was to see Black Swifts in the sky over the swamp. Because it
      was warm the swifts were flying high up. We managed with effort to spot
      three Black Swifts among the more numerous Vaux's.

      We had good luck on woodpeckers. Near the trailhead we found an American
      Three-toed Woodpecker working a Pacific Silver Fir. The surrounding forest
      was composed of Douglas-fir, Lodgepole Pine, Western Larch, and true firs,
      both Pacific Silver and Grand. South of the American River crossing (cold
      and waist deep!) a few hundred yards we observed two Black-backed
      Woodpeckers. The forest here was composed of two "scaly-barked species:
      Engelmann Spruce and Lodgepole Pine, plus Pacific Silver Fir. In the silver
      snags around the swamp were Red-naped Sapsuckers, Northern Flickers, and one
      Pileated Woodpecker.

      Species list:

      Red-tailed Hawk - 1
      Black Swift - 3
      Vaux's Swift - 15
      Red-naped Sapsucker - 2
      American Three-toed Woodpecker - 2
      Black-backed Woodpecker - 2
      Northern Flicker - 1
      Pileated Woodpecker - 1
      Olive-sided Flycatcher - 4
      Western Wood-Pewee - 3
      Hammond's Flycatcher - 2
      Gray Jay - 5
      Steller's Jay - 1
      Clark's Nutcracker - 5
      Common Raven - 2
      Mountain Chickadee - 2
      Chestnut-backed Chickadee - 3
      Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
      Brown Creeper - 4
      Golden-crowned Kinglet - 5
      Hermit Thrush - 1
      American Robin - 1
      Varied Thrush - 2
      Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
      Townsend's Warbler - 1
      Song Sparrow - 2
      Lincoln's Sparrow - 3
      Dark-eyed Junco - 5
      Pine Siskin - 2
      Evening Grosbeak - 3

      Andy and Ellen Stepniewski
      Wapato WA
      steppie@...
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