[Tweeters] Government Meadows and Windy Gap 8/18
tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 18 17:40:57 PDT 2013
I finished up a weekend of high country birding in King County, heading out today with Doug Schurman to the Southeast corner of the county. After crossing the county line a few miles up FR 70, we pulled the car over for a large raptor, which flew back over the road to give us a good view: Northern Goshawk! It was a very good start to a very good day! Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Dark-eyed Juncos and Yellow-rumped Warblers were the most abundant birds throughout the day.
>From the Naches Pass Trail, we first tried the trail dropping to the lower meadow; It was teeming with warblers - we had good looks at Yellow-rumped, Townsends, MacGillivray's, Nashville and Yellow, with a heard-only Black-throated Gray and a possible Orange-crowned. Western Tanagers and Cassin's Finches were also found in the lower meadow.
Heading up to the main meadow, we went to the cabin and sat... waiting for Gray Jays to no avail. We eventually got up and walked the meadow a little, finding a few Lincoln's Sparrows, Cooper's Hawk, and Hairy Woodpeckers. Walking the trail around the Northwest side of the meadow, we did find about a dozen Gray Jays, more Cassin's Finches and Pine Siskins, and a single Turkey Vulture.
Windy Gap was pretty unproductive, and after 20 minutes, I told Doug that we should wait five more. That was enough, as the empty slope filled up for about 15 minutes with a mixed flock of Mountain Bluebirds, Cassin's Finches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, two Brewer's Sparrows and at least one Chipping Sparrow.
Checking the little lake below Windy Gap, we picked up Rufous Hummingbird, and had a flock of 10-15 Vaux's Swifts move in, one of them buzzing within 5 feet of my head.
Other birds in the area included Common Raven, Northern Flicker, American Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pacific Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Steller's Jay, among others.
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