[Tweeters] Raptor s from Slate Peak-15 Sept.

Andy Stepniewski steppie at nwinfo.net
Tue Sep 17 06:49:34 PDT 2013



Saturday night I presented "Cascade Ridges as a Southbound Migration
Highway" to an audience in Mazama at the North Cascades Base Camp.

Sunday Ellen and I led this group up to Slate Peak, along with Steve and Kim
Bondi,proprieters of the basecamp. The forecasted change in weather from dry
and hot summertime conditions to wet and cool that fall brings seemed
delayed by a day. A very stiff east breeze prompted raptors to fly. In our
four hours from the Slate Peak parking lot, we spied nine species (I'm
including Turkey Vulture) of diurnal raptors and about 50 individuals.
Red-tailed Hawks were the most numerous species, as expected.

Prairie Falcons seemed much in evidence, suggesting a bird or two was
lingering around the peak's meadows and slopes, perhaps dining on ptarmigan
that inhabit the slopes of Slate Peak!

Songbirds were about us, too. American Pipits seemed to be moving south in
numbers, as evidenced by their "sip-it" calls overhead. Clark's Nutcrackers
were apparent, too, some wheeling about acrobatically in the winds.

As always it was pure joy to spend time atop Slate Peak, taking in all the
birds while admiring glorious views from this vantage, including Mt. Baker
and many of the glacier-clad spires of the high North Cascades to the west,
contrasting with the drier and more barren peaks east from these peaks about

Species tally:

Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 4
Northern Harrier 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper's Hawk 1
Accipiter sp. 2
Red-tailed Hawk 21
American Kestrel 2
Merlin 3
Prairie Falcon 2
Clark's Nutcracker 4
Common Raven 8
Horned Lark 7
Mountain Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
American Pipit 40
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 3
White-crowned Sparrow 2

Andy and Ellen Stepniewski

Wapato WA

steppie at nwinfo.net

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