[Tweeters] Mt. Rainier - Paradise - A fanstastic day.
dtvhm at nwrain.com
Tue Jun 23 23:06:02 PDT 2015
Sherry and I had the day off so we hiked at Paradise Mt. Rainier. We arrived at the parking lot at 10:00am, and our first bird was a BARN SWALLOW followed by PINE SISKIN, and we had lots of Siskins through out the day. Across the way in the Tattoosh range, we spotted our first Mt. Goat on Castle Peak. Once we started the trail, we had DARK-EYED JUNCO, and we had lots of them during the day. We hiked eastward towards Edith Creek and continued to Goldengate. The wildflowers were spectacular. In this section we had 3 Black-tailed Deer, Hoary Marmot, VARIED THRUSH, HERMIT THRUSH, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, AMERICAN PIPIT, and 2 singing SAVANNAH SPARROWS. Once above Goldengate, we continue up on the Skyline trail to Lower Skyline. During this section we encountered our fist snow patches, but were minimal. In a small patch of trees we saw a CHIPPING SPARROW (unusual on the Paradise side, but common at Sunrise) and PACIFIC WREN singing (unusual for this elevation). Also we had our only GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH and we spotted 7 more Mt. Goats. We trekked along the Lower Skyline trail to Ptarmigan Rock where we had our lunch and spent some time hanging out. We also got two good birds here. First was a PRAIRIE FALCON. We heard in vocalize as it flew over heading towards Panorama Point, and then was gone, and secondly was an adult GOLDEN EAGLE. It soared by and was heading towards the Nisqually Vista area. We retraced our steps back to the Skyline trail and decided to go back down Skyline, crossing the Paradise River, and coming back around to the Goldengate/Skyline Trail junction. Another good choice. We had an adult BALD EAGLE circling, RAVEN, GRAY JAY, and AMERICAN DIPPER in the Paradise River. As we neared the end, where the trail starts to head back up to the junction, we head a Marmot giving alarm calls. We hung out for a little bit hoping to see what might be about, and then came a familiar song. Two LAZULI BUNTINGS started singing and chasing each other. While watching the buntings, a Black Bear emerged out of the brush. It didn’t stick around long before disappearing, so we headed back the parking lot. When we left it was around 6:00pm and we drove out the Paradise Valley Road. After the river crossing, we came to a place where we could look down into Paradise Valley, and on the opposite side was a large sloped open area. We got out and spotted 2 more Black-tailed Deer, and low and behold, the Lazuli Buntings had come down slope and continued singing and chasing. Then another song, a TOWNSEND’S WARLBER. While looking for the warbler, 2 BLACK SWIFTS flew by. The Swifts were flying back and forth in the northern part of the valley, just above the tree line, but below the road.
A side note, Paradise Valley Road is closed during the day (week days) and opens after 5:00pm. They are using it for a staging area to helicopter in supplies to Camp Muir and Camp Sherman.
Also during the week days, the Nisqually entrance has construction for paving, so expect delays.
Dave & Sherry Hayden
dtvhm AT nwrain.com
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