[Tweeters] Lewis County birding 7/8
tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 9 01:59:40 PDT 2018
Kevin Black and I met up dark and early in Packwood this morning, hoping to enjoy the amazing weather and find some good Lewis County birds together. We met the morning twilight on FR 1270 a little east of Packwood, and heard Common Nighthawks well before the sun came up. I've made some trips without Kevin, so we made a quick side trip to Thompson Road nearby to listen to the morning chorus at a clear cut. House Wrens, MacGillivray's Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and Hammond's Flycatchers were among the birds heard there.
We went back up Highway 12 to 123 and up just past Ohanapecosh Campground to set out on the Three Lakes hike on Laughingwater Trail. Hike summary for those interested - it's a 6 mile hike (although with side explorations and backtracking, and the morning walks, and I ended up with 15 miles on his fitbit) up and 6 back, with a few steep points, but very few. The trail is soft and even rock free for most of the hike, and there was snow only when we reached the top (which kept us from continuing towards the Pacific Crest Trail - just a little over a mile further). The creek is far enough away from the trail that it makes for really good listening.
Nearly constant on the trip: Thrushes (Varied and Hermit), Townsend's Warblers, Dark-eyed Junco, Hammond's and Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Vaux's Swift, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Golden-crowned Kinglets.
We had a Hairy Woodpecker early on, and another woodpecker about a mile short of the Three Lakes that was heard only for 5-6 rounds of a rattle call. Kevin and I agree that it was a good woodpecker, but we never saw the bird, and we disagree on whether it sounded like a Black-backed or American Three-toed.
At the lakes themselves, we tried to call in a Pygmy Owl, and ended up getting responses from a Northern Goshawk instead. Definitely the bird of the day for us.
After picking Kevin's car back up, we hit Peter's Road wetland which still holds scads of blackbirds, a few Lazuli Bunting, and a few Bank Swallows. >From the Cowlitz Falls Day use area not too far from there on Falls Road, I was able to find a Purple Martin, Spotted Sandpiper, and a Hutton's Vireo who apparently hadn't been told that it was late afternoon on a warm July day as it zuwee'd away.
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