Subject: [Tweeters] Okanogan (non-birding) trip notes from last weekend
Date: Jun 10 21:46:26 2014
From: Michael Hobbs - birdmarymoor at

Tweets ? my wife and I did a backpacking trip in the Loomis Forest over the weekend; a trip cut short by a tad too much snow up high. We got to the top of Joe Mills Mountain okay, but decided not to go further. It was not a birding trip, but of course I was birding anyway.

Birds of note:

LEAST FLYCATCHER: Heard at the Ellesforde Bridge
Clark?s Nutcracker: Very numerous on Joe Mills
Townsend?s Solitaire: Also very numerous there
TREE SWALLOW: Nesting in a used Barn Swallow nest under the eaves of the outhouse at Chopaka Lake!

On our way back, we took SR-20 to SR-530. At Washington Pass, the overlook is still closed, but at the pullout there, we had CLARK?S NUTCRACKER, GRAY JAY, PINE GROSBEAK, and SPOTTED SANDPIPER; a nice collection of high elevation birds.

At all of the high elevation sites, we had PINE SISKIN in numbers. I?ve found this to be true at other locations around the state ? White Pass, Bald Mountain, Stevens Pass, etc. Siskins may be totally absent from the lowlands, but they are alive and well up high.

Taking SR-530 through Oso was astounding. The photos don?t do justice to the magnitude of the slide. Mindboggling. There is no outright road closure anymore, but the portion of SR-530 through the slide is operated one lane at a time with a guide vehicle, so expect a 15-20 minute delay. It?s worth seeing.

== Michael Hobbs
== BirdMarymoor at