[Tweeters] American Redstart @ Newhalem Aggregate Ponds

Michael Fleming michaelfleming01 at gmail.com
Fri May 26 11:26:09 PDT 2017

This week Larry Moss and I made a trip over Washington Pass to Winthrop
and back. The weather was nice for the most part except for some areas
where the wind was quite strong, particularly on the west side from
Newhalem to Colonial Creek Campground and on the east side around Sun
Mountain Lodge. I started out on Monday with a drive up to the Skagit WMA
Headquarters for a few hours and then overnighting in Bellingham. Tuesday
morning we got an early start making an quick stop at Rasar State Park near
Hamilton, then hitting Martin Road, Howard Miller Steelhead Park, and
Barnaby Slough in the Rockport area. After a walk around the Marblemount
Boat Launch we were off to the Skagit County Ponds and Newhalem Aggregate
Ponds where the birding was good before traveling to Newhalem and then
Colonial Creek Campground. At both Rainy Pass and Washington Pass we were
only able to park at the entrance points as the snow was still to high to
enter the parking and rest areas. Heading down the east side of the
Cascades we made a couple of brief stops at Lone Fir Campground and the Big
Valley Unit Wildlife Area before checking into our hotel in Winthrop. That
evening we birded a little around the Sun Mountain Lodge before dinner but
the wind kept it to a minimum. The next morning was spent along Bear Creek
Road & Okanogan Nat'l Forest Road #7923 to the east of Winthrop which were
both very productive, and then we began our trek back to Bellingham with a
stop once more in Newhalem along the way. Overall this was a good birding
trip with the traffic and crowds being minimal while hotel rates were still
very reasonable before the Memorial Day Weekend hits.
There were several notable sightings on this trip with a singing male
AMERICAN REDSTART at the Newhalem Aggregate Ponds and an AMERICAN
THREE-TOED WOODPECKER at Washington Pass pullout being two of the best.
Additional highlight of the trip included:

BLUE-WINGED TEAL - Three males seen at the Skagit WMA Headquarters

RUFFED GROUSE - Excellent views of one near the gate to the Newhalem
Aggregate Ponds

SOOTY GROUSE - heard booming at RAINY PASS

GOLDEN EAGLE - Bear Creek Road - near the Golf Course

GREAT HORNED OWL - one seen and a couple more heard in the late evening
near our lodging a couple miles south of Winthrop

BLACK SWIFT - at the Newhalem Interpretive Center Parking Lot

AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER - at the Washington Pass pullout - great
close looks

HUTTON'S VIREO on Nest - Skagit County Line Ponds

PYGMY NUTHATCH at Nest hole in small snag - Bear Creek Road (Okanogan Nat'l
Forest Road #7923)

AMERICAN REDSTART - Newhalem Aggregate Ponds

YELLOW WARBLER - these were seen at many places throughout the tour but
they were Very thick at the Skagit WMA Headquarters

CHIPPING SPARROW on Nest - many seen at Bear Creek Road (Okanogan Nat'l
Forest Road #7923)

LAZULI BUNTING - Bear Creek Road near Golf Course

CASSIN'S FINCH - abundant at different sites in the Winthrop area

Cheers and Good Birding;

Michael Fleming
Ballard, Washington
michaelfleming01 AT gmail.com

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