[Tweeters] Cle Elum to Haney Meadows SAS trip report

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Tue Nov 3 19:18:59 PST 2015

Tweets – today, Dasha Gudalewicz and I led a Seattle Audubon field trip to Cle Elum, Blewett Pass, and Haney Meadows in Kittitas County. We had a really good group of people, and all-but-perfect weather. Today is the cross-quarter (half way between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice) and thus can be argued to be the beginning of Winter, and we got to see a bit, as there was about an inch of snow above about 4000 feet. So we had bright yellow Cottonwoods and Larches, and mountains frosted with snow, and blue skies filled with puffy white clouds.

For birds, we didn’t have many, but we had quality.


Ring-necked Duck Three at the NP Railroad pond
Rough-legged Hawk 1-2 near Ballard Hill Rd., one on Masterson Rd.
Wilson’s Snipe Three at McDonald Pond along far shore
Wild Turkey Ballard Hill Rd. and again on Red Bridge Rd.
Hairy Woodpecker Seen at many locations
Great Horned Owl Flushed in Swauk Cemetery
WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER Female under the power lines off Hart Rd.
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER One each along FR-9716 & FR-9712
Gray Jay Along FR-9716 and at horse camp at Haney Meadow
BUSHTIT I think we had these at FOUR locations!
White-breasted Nuthatch Nice looks next to WHWO
Pygmy Nuthatch Nice looks in Swauk Cemetery

The WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER was a great surprise in some pines under the power line corridor downhill from the road, not far up Hart Rd. It was pretty birdy in there with BROWN CREEPER, a flock of (Pacific) Bushtits, and two species of nuthatch.

We stopped for the toilet at the Swauk Forest Discovery Trail off FR-9716 just off from Blewett Pass, and Rene heard some tapping. We followed the sounds uphill and found a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER about 100 ft. from the toilet, up the road. Our second Black-backed, a female, was about 3.8 miles from the intersection of FR-9716 and FR-9712 towards Haney Meadow.

Anyway, I think everyone had a good time on a gorgeous day, even though the birding was SLOW. November is probably not the best time to do this trip. Those wanting to try chasing Black-backed Woodpeckers would do best to try soon, as the road was beginning to get snow-covered up there. Winter, remember?

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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