[Tweeters] Mountain birding 6-10 Aug - Sunrise, Hart's Pass, Cascade Pass

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 11 18:22:38 PDT 2014

I spent much of the past five days hiking and birding in the mountains
up at Sunrise (with Charlie Wright, Linnaea Chapman and Brad
Waggoner), Hart's Pass (with Steve Merrill), and Cascade Pass (with
Charlie Wright, Linnaea Chapman and Evie Barber). In general the
weather was great with a lot of sun, only a little wind, hardly any
bugs, and many great views. The sparrow show up at Sunrise was
particularly impressive, with scores upon scores of sparrows in the
subalpine zone, many of which were in or very near to the parking lot.
These included multiple BREWER'S SPARROWS and several dozen VESPER
SPARROWS which aren't there in most years, as well as large numbers of
Chipping Sparrows.

Here are some of the highlights:

White-tailed Ptarmigan
6 Sunrise 8/7 - near Fremont Tower - Female with 3 large young, 2 males nearby

Golden Eagle
1 Hart's Pass 8/8

Boreal Owl
2 Sunrise 8/6 - nice view of one

Northern Saw-whet Owl
1 Sunrise 8/6 - nice view of juv

Black Swift
20 Cascade Pass 8/10 - mostly seen from parking lot while looking out
over the valley, a few also overhead calling

Western Wood-Pewee
1 a couple miles north of Hart's Pass along the PCT at about 6700'

House Wren
1 Sunrise 8/6
2 Sunrise 8/7
1 Hart's Pass 8/8
3 Hart's Pass 8/9

American Dipper
1 Sunrise 8/7 - in the creek just below Frozen Lake seen and heard
while looking down from the trail on the way back to the parking lot

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
6 Hart's Pass 8/8 - including a couple young birds
1 Hart's Pass 8/9

Mountain Bluebird
85+ Sunrise 8/6
49 Sunrise 8/7
2 Hart's Pass 8/9

Townsend's Solitaire
4 Sunrise 8/6 - great views of several juvs
1 Sunrise 8/7
1 Hart's Pass 8/8

Nashville Warbler
6 Hardy Burn parking lot 8/8
11 Hart's Pass 8/8
1 Hart's Pass 8/9

Yellow-rumped Warbler
including 1 apparent Myrtle x Audubon's at Hart's Pass 8/8

Wilson's Warbler
1 Hart's Pass 8/9

Chipping Sparrow
80+ Sunrise 8/6 - including adults feeding recently-fledged juvs
200+ Sunrise 8/7
335+ Hart's Pass 8/8

Brewer's Sparrow
1 Sunrise 8/6 - nice views at parking lot
7 Sunrise 8/7 - mostly adults but a couple juvs too, mostly around
parking lot but one on trails

Vesper Sparrow
8 Sunrise 8/6
35+ Sunrise 8/7 - amazing numbers for a species that usually isn't
here at all, included a group of sparrows in which 20 of 25 birds were

Savannah Sparrow
1 Hart's Pass 8/9 - at Meadows Campground, the only one of the week

Lincoln's Sparrow
2 Sunrise 8/7 - two in a lush meadow downhill a ways from Frozen Lake

White-crowned Sparrow
including 1 apparent oriantha x gambelli Hart's Pass 8/8 & 8/9

Red-winged Blackbird
2 Diablo Lake overlook 8/8 - male and female

Brown-headed Cowbird
4 Sunrise 8/6
3 Sunrise 8/7

Pine Grosbeak
1 Sunrise 8/6

Purple Finch
1 Sahale Arm 8/10

Cassin's Finch
14 Sunrise 8/7
64+ Hart's Pass 8/8
30+ Hart's Pass 8/9

White-winged Crossbill
1 Hart's Pass 8/9

There was a weasel being mobbed by songbirds at Hart's Pass on 8/9 and
a large bear swimming around the lake east of Sahale Arm on 8/10.

At Diablo on 8/9 there was a surprisingly early CLAY-COLORED SPARROW.
I'm aware of only two other fall reports from western Washington
before September, both of which were in late August.

Some photos are up now on my Flickr site and there are more to be added:

Good birding,
Ryan Merrill

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