[Tweeters] excellent birding Rainy to Cutthroat Pass

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 3 20:10:20 PDT 2021

Dear Tweeters,
Although I was nervous about going up to Cutthroat Pass on the Friday before a long weekend, I risked it today, the third of September. I am glad that I did, although the constant stream of hikers and trail-runners presented significant challenges to someone trying to bird.
Here are the highlights.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK, one adult carrying prey, flying along the trail, right where all the campsites are, below Cutthroat Pass.
Cooper's Hawk, 2, one of which giving me close views.
Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2. One terrorized some songbirds at Cutthroat Pass, and the other was mixing it up with some Canada Jays just above the Porcupine Creek ford.
(Yep, all three Accipiters on one hike! I think that's only the second time I've seen all three in one day, let alone in one area!)
American Three-toed Woodpecker, 1, which is about par for this course.
Hairy Woodpecker, 1, only the second time I've seen one on this trail. All of the white areas on this bird were really white, rather than sooty-grey, so I think this was a bird from Eastern Washington, or from somewhere else to the east.
Mountain Chickadee, lots of them, easy to see, which is not always the case here.
VESPER SPARROW, 1 at Cutthroat Pass, very surprising!
Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2. one was in open woodland just below the big slide or boulder field, above Porcupine Creek. Another was at Cutthroat Pass. I'd never seen this species up here before, and hardly ever this early in the season.
Pine Grosbeak, 1. An adult male was foraging silently in the forest above Porcupine Creek.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, at least 20! There were flocks and singles, starting as soon as the trail left the big trees, and all the way to the pass.
The traffic coming home on westbound SR20 was light, but the number of vehicles heading east was something to behold.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch

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