[Tweeters] White-tailed Ptarmigan-Paradise

amy schillinger schillingera at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 6 10:01:03 PDT 2013

I scouted for a field trip that I am leading for the joint WFO/WOS conference later this month. My trip will explore the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier. After reading reports last week that others had observed the WT Ptarmigan along near the Golden Gate trail I set out from the parking lot around 9:00 am. I then took the Skyline trail towards Panorama Point. On the trail just before the last big switchback up to Panorama Point was a female with 4 chicks. They were quite tame and allowed for incredibly close observation.
I did not see the mostly white Ptarmigan that was also reported in the area. Also observed were American Pipits, Mtn. Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglets, tons of Junco's, Rufous Hummingbird, Barn Swallows, Violet-green Swallows, Raven, CB Chickadee, YR warblers, Pine Siskins, Pine Grosbeaks (heard only), and Red Crossbill.
I would recommend that if you go up there, go early! By the time I returned to my car at noon the parking lot was full, people were parking down the mountain and hiking up to the lodge, and they were running shuttles up from Longmire! And this was on a weekday. Also, this time of year the mountain makes it's own clouds and by early afternoon it can be quite cloudy, cool, and even windy with thunderstorms.
Amy Schillinger

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