[Tweeters] Naches Pass birding [King Co] Saturday August 3, 2013

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 3 19:45:10 PDT 2013

Hi all -
first of two messages this eve -
I started the day up at Naches Pass, the SE corner of King County where sometimes eastern Washington goodies slop over into the county.

I got to the trail out to Government Meadows and Naches Pass proper by 6:30, and enjoyed almost no jeeps or off-road vehicles in the 2 1/2 hrs I spent walking out to the end of the meadows via the jeep trail [this route can get loud & perilous later in the day on weekends as it is very popular with jeeps & ORVs] -- Low clouds made it a bit tough to find too much, but Gray Jays and Mountain Chicadees [at the far end of the meadow, just before the trail heads into Yakima county] were the best birds up there. Evening Grosbeaks were around in large numbers, as were Pine Siskins. At the starting point of the jeep track, a few Cassin's Finch sounded off, but unfortunately I never tracked them down for views. Also in the same area were the first of several Orange-crowned Warbler groups and a couple MacGillivray's Warblers.

I headed next to Windy Gap [a little north of Naches Pass, accessed off FR 7030] -- At least 5 Mountain Bluebirds, including many young were working the snags at the north end of the area. Walking one of the two-tracks north from the main road, I came across a flock of Chipping Sparrows [adult & young] with two Brewer's Sparrows mixed in! This is the second time I've come across Brewer's Sparrows up at this spot, though these today were pretty clearly our 'normal' Brewer's and not the Timberline that we believe the other one was. Most of the White-crowned Sparrows I saw and heard were Pugetensis, but at least one Gambellii was singing as well and I think I saw a couple more .

All in all a good morning & afternoon -

If anyone is interested in heading up there, I'd be happy to share directions from an old article Gene Hunn & I wrote for WA Birder -- just ask.

Next up, Boeing Ponds in the evening.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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