[Tweeters] Adventurers wanted!

Steve Loitz steveloitz at gmail.com
Mon Jul 15 14:51:56 PDT 2013


Tim,

I have seen several White-tailed Ptarmigan in King County in the past few
years, most recently on the north flank of Big Snow Mountain in early
September 2012. I have also seen them near on the E and W flanks of Mt.
Hinman, N of Dip Top Gap (the saddle N of the Lynch Glacier/Pea Soup Lake)
and near La Bohn Lakes. (Note that the USGS 7.5' map erroneously labels La
Bohn Gap; the real La Bohn Gap is the low spot on the divide between La
Bohn Gap and Chain Lakes.) All of those sightings were accessed via
off-trail travel.

Your best bet via a day-hike trail may be the tarn-spotted alpine basin
between Alta Mountain and Lila Lake. That area can be accessed via the
Rachel Lake/Rampart Ridge trail, and then taking the informal trail N when
you hit Rampart Ridge. I've seen ptarmigan in that basin, although it has
been a few years. If you go there, be prepared for a workout. The crowds
thin out after Rachel Lake.

I have not had a confident ID of a Spruce Grouse E of the Cascade Crest as
far south as King County.

Have fun and good luck!

Steve Loitz
Seattle, WA
steveloitz at gmail.com



On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM, Tim Brennan <tsbrennan at hotmail.com> wrote:


> Hey Tweets!

>

>

>

> I know that there are good places to go in the state for high country

> birds like White-tailed Ptarmigan and Spruce Grouse, but in the spirit of

> always-trying-to-find-a-harder-way, I’d really like to do some exploring

> for these birds in King County.****

>

> ** **

>

> Just a few problems: ****

>

> 1) There are only two extremely sketchy county records for Spruce

> Grouse in the county, and Ptarmigan are up there… but there haven’t been

> any reports of birders finding them in the last couple years that I know of.

> ****

>

> 2) I’ve never been up hiking in the Alpine Lakes area and would

> probably get lost before getting eaten by a bear while falling off of a

> cliff – that is at least my wife’s best guess.****

>

> 3) Having never seen either of these target birds, I can’t exactly

> say useful things like “That looks like good Spruce Grouse habitat – let’s

> go over there!”. I’m not sure I could pick a spruce tree out of a

> line-up for that matter.****

>

> 4) I’m sure I’m missing something else….****

>

> ** **

>

> So I’m hoping to make my way into the Alpine Lakes area – maybe even up

> towards the Pacific Crest, but still in King County - on the weekend of

> August 16-18, and am looking for maybe three other adventurous folks to

> explore this underbirded area with me. All positions are currently open

> – bonus if you know where you’re going up there, and have some

> camping/hiking/backpacking (?) savvy, if you have some knowledge of habitat

> in general, and/or can pick out things like… spruce… or… grouseberry

> (apparently this is a plant that grouse like… imagine that!). Oh! If

> you are good with “Where’s Waldo?” books, it may also help – I may have

> walked right by Ptarmigan and their advanced cloaking systems many times

> for all I know – my eyes are awful for things like that.****

>

> ** **

>

> Sense of humor necessary, and please don’t tell me about nice places to

> see these birds in other counties – I know they’re out there, but I feel

> like poking around in “the backyard”. Failure is an option! :D****

>

> ** **

>

> I am working to figure out a trip plan as well, so if anyone has some

> experience hiking that area this time of year and possibly birding it, I

> would love to hear from you as well. Also it seems very difficult to

> find a “range map” for things like spruce trees… so any leads there would

> be great.****

>

> ** **

>

> -Tim Brennan****

>

> Renton****

>

>

>

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