[Tweeters] White-tailed Ptarmigans at Mt. Rainier

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 20:17:37 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets,

My nephew and I were on the trail to the Mt. Fremont fire lookout
early this morning. We did not find ptarmigans at the spot identified
by Scott Ramos and Evan Houston so we continued on to the fire
lookout. As soon as we arrived we encountered a hen and four
"teenagers." These teens were large and rambunctious although they
still had some baby feathers. We sat down in the rocks on the north
side of the lookout to eat our brunch and two males in breeding
plumage worked their way up the hill and wandered within several feet
of us. About a half hour later George Pagos arrived with camera in
hand. His patience resulted in photos of the hen and young birds. He
was still looking for the males at the time we left. When we arrived
back at site 1, a field trip from the Western Field Ornithologists
conference in Olympia was there watching another hen and chicks that
were truly babies. As we continued on down the trail, we visited
briefly with Amit Kulkarni who was on his way up with a small group of
companions. My nephew and I saw nine ptarmigans. Hopefully all the
other birders up there today got great looks at various birds. We also
saw a herd of mountain goats, fairly near the fire lookout, that
numbered 42 conservatively. There were lots of kids in the herd.

Carol Riddell

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