[Tweeters] Seasonal Change at Mt. Baker

STEVEN ELLIS sremse at comcast.net
Mon Sep 23 06:35:34 PDT 2019

We spent 1/2 of Saturday in the fall colors at Mt. Baker. The warblers appear to be gone and all the bird droppings are purple, which shows the food of choice. There is still a good crop of berries up there.

Artist Point: We walked a portion of the Chain Lakes Trail. Many immature White-crowned Sparrows,1 male Cassin's Finch, Hermit Thrush, several Ravens, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Mt.Chickadees. Robins and Flickers were flying out of the trees to hit the berry fields. I may have seen a Townsend's Solitaire but the look was fleeting and the lighting wasn't the best.

Begley Lake Trail: We were entertained by a pair of American Dippers that were splashing into the lake outlet and stream. A family of 4 Sooty Grouse was upslope from the trail. 1 immature male got to within 10' of us.

The highlight of the day was a herd of 7 Mt. Goats that came bucketing out of the trees across the valley from the Chain Lakes Trail. This is the 1st time I've seen goats running and was so surprised I didn't think to see if something had chased them out of the copse(Black Bear? Cougar?). We spent the next hour pointing them out to hikers, probably 40 or so people. One of my favorite things to do in the field is to lend my binoculars to kids. That look on their face when they realize an adult trusts them with a valuable instrument is priceless. My binos have only been dropped once or twice in all the years of sharing them with kids ( I've lost track how many times I'VE dropped them!). It was fun trying to communicate with a Slavic language speaking family - I must look silly imitating Mt Goats.There were at least 5 languages spoken at that stop. By the way, the goats at Baker are native and NOT part of the animals removed from the Olympics ( or a government plot as 1 hik!
er insinuated).

Other mammals; Hoary Marmot, Pika, Yellow-Pine Chipmunk

There were still 13 species of wildflowers resolutely blooming in the chilly air but they are definitely on the wane.

1 butterfly, probably Vidler's Alpine (late for the species).

----Steve Ellis

sremse at comcast.net mailto:sremse at comcast.net

Coupeville, Wa
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