Subject: Nile Rd Burn and Woodpeckers
Date: Jun 27 21:12:48 2003
From: Lynn Schulz - linusq at

Hi Tweeters:
Here are some past posts about the now-famous Nile Rd Burn, which is
off of hwy 410 east of Chinook Pass in WA. Rachel Lawson first told
about the place a year ago in a Birdbox msg. Her directions are a
good start. Nile Road parallels hwy 410 for about 2.5 miles. Halfway
down it, there is a turn off it to the west. I believe it is the road
on DeLorme that follows Nile Creek. The area is not shown well in
DeLorme, p 50, B1, and 49, B8, but when you get over there, there are
some good signs to follow. However, the burn is large and scattered,
so you can get skunked there. (I have been.) So follow some more of
the directions in the later posts, and note mileages as you progress.
The roads are gravel, and are wide. City cars should do just fine.
There are some chuck holes and washboard in places, but no big rocks.
Please read the msg about approaching nest woodpeckers quietly, and
standing well back to minimize disturbance.
Also "Copper Springs Rd" might be Clover Springs Rd. It is FR 1600.
I have not been there for a year. Some of these directions may seem
confusing. So check out the following messages and directions.
Yours, Carol Schulz
linusq at
>From Rachel L, last year
Saturday, 6/29/02, 1:00am. This is Rachel Lawson at 206 282 5593.
Reporting for Thur 6/27. I saw a BLACK BACKED WOODPECKER at the burn
Naches where this species has been reported by several other birders.
get to this location, go on Hwy 410 to Nile Road. Turn south on Nile
Rd til
you get to Forest Road 1600, also called Copper Springs Road. Turn
left on
this road and go about 9 miles until you see the burn on your left.
bird was close to the road. There was also a pair of WILLIAMSON
at the same location. That's it, good birding.
>From Rolan Nelson, June 23, 03
All 3 of us picked up a life bird when the Nile Burn yeilded 3 adult
and 1 fledgling BLACK BACKED WOODPECKERS. At the same site we were
visited by a! WHITE HEADED WOODPECKER, a second life bird for Doug.
On the way up to the burn we were rushed by a female RUFFED GROUSE
that was a lifer for Fred! Not too bad for one stretch of road!
>From Rolan, June 24, 03
The trick to finding the Black Backed up on the Nile Burn is to start
measuring the mileage as soon as you turn on to Clover Springs Road
(FR 1600). Then stay on 1600 for a full nine miles. The burn will be
on you left on a down slope away from the road. Walk all the way
around the small group of young, green firs at the bottom of the
swale. The nest we found was on the up slope beyond that small copse
of trees. We had 4 Black Backs and one White Headed at this site.
Good Luck! -Rolan
>From Jason Paulios, June 23, 03
The Nile burn was interesting. We were both expecting something
but were happy to be able to get out and hike around. We would
having lots of time to explore the entire burn on foot, it is not that
but contains many good birds. We ran into a birder as we made our way
who said he had 4 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS, we only found 2 adult
BLACK-BACKEDS and two chicks. One bird had left the nest early and
was on
the ground, this bird had damage on the right eye. The parents were
it on the ground, so please be very careful when approaching the
BLACK-BACKEDS...and keep your distance so as to reduce further
I would recommend carrying in a scope, this way you can allow all the
woodpeckers (and there were others) to continue bringing food to the
nestlings. PLUS YOU GET MUCH BETTER LOOKS! A note about the yound
Black-backed, this bird's plumage was identical to the adult and had a
smaller patch of yellow on the crown (ala male B/Backeds)...neat.

Other good birds:
2 Williamson's Sapsucker (these birds were very busy flying around,
hard to
get good looks at but obviously foraging for food for young)
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 White-headed Woodpecker (2 males, 1 female. One pair was visting
hole often)
4 Black-backed Woodpecker
2 N. Flicker
2 Hammond's Flycatcher
2 Mountain Chickadee w/nest
2 W/B Nuthatch
Western Bluebird (common)
1 Townsend's Solitaire
Y/R "Audubon's" Warbler
Cassin's Finch, Red Crossbill, and Evening Grosbeaks all coming to a
ash pile near the center of the burn.

A note on where to watch the woodpeckers- If you walk the main "road"
the burn you will eventually come to a tree blocking the path and a
ash pile beyond this. If you stand to the left of the ash pile with
back to the FR1600 road look at about 10 to 11 o'clock. You should
see a
shorter snag with a couple of hole near the top. This is the nest of
White-headeds, if you stay out of sight behind a tree at a distance
will come and go every minute or so. They were vocal, but this was
after we
had walked around for quite a be patient and spend some
wandering the burn. The Black-backeds were off to the left side of
the burn
(as looking out from FR 1600). Please be careful here, we blundered
the nest and quickly retreated after realizing we were so close (you
hear at least one chick still inside). Upon reflection, if you walk
the ridge straight ahead and then listen you should eventually pick up
calls (they were eventually very vocal also). Listen to the Stokes
CD, they
made both the 'pik' notes (especially the chick) and the cool raspy
series (even the chick produced this sound). The Wiliamson's
were harder to locate, we saw one female on a trunk before she flew
and I
got a decent look at a distant male before he also flew. We never
their nest, so be prepared to get on a flying bird quickly.

Overall a great place to bird for us Westsiders. Easy drive and
birds. The scenery on 410 coming back was also outstanding, lots of
yet at the pass and VARIED THRUSHES calling from below.