Swifts flew Into rock crevices to roost and 2+ silent Black Swifts took quick drinks.
Flashlights were needed for the descent and climb back out of the canyon.
August 20: In the morning a "countable" Ringed Turtledove at Pershing Square and library in downtown LA before the flight to Seattle. In the early evening our caravan
of 2 vans and 2 cars arrived at Ocean Shores, Washington.
August 21: Our guides, Glen and Wanda Hoge, led us to woods for Chestnut-backed Chick
adee, Townsend's, WiIson's, and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Bandtalled Pigeon, and an
unexpected treat, 2 Black Swifts. The jetties were good for Common Murre, Rhinoceros
Auklet, Pelagic and Brandt Cormorant, White-winged Scoter, Surfbird, Black Turnstone,
Wandering Tattler, and Sooty Shearwater. The successful first day was celebrated at
The Dunes with fresh salmon and wild berry pie while we watched tens of thousands of
Shearwaters fly up the beach in an endless stream.
August 22: The pelagic trip out of Westport, Wash., organized by Terry Wahl, weathered some rough swells but saw all species that could reasonably be expected, and in
large numbers, as our boat circled a fleet of II Russian fishing vessels and one
U.S. Coast Guard boat: Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet, and Cas-
sin's Auklet near shore; Sooty, Pink-footed, and New Zealand Shearwaters, Fork-tailed
and Leach's Storm Petrels, Tufted Puffin, Black-footed Albatross, Fulmar, Skua, Parasitic, Pomarlne, and Long-tailed Jaegers, Marbled Murrelet and Sabine's Gull. At one
moment I counted 18 Black-footed Albatross in my field vision. Later, with feet on
a swaying shore, we met our next guide, Bill Harrington-Twelt.
August 23: A detour south to the Hoh Valley Visitors Center to walk in the Olympic
National Forest, an unlogged rain forest, found Gray Jays, Ruffed Grouse, Varied
Thrush, Dipper and Wood Duck. Then we raced against the clock (stopped at Pillar
Point for Mew Gull, Red-throated Loon) in order to catch ferries from Port Angeles to
Townsend Point and from Anacortes to San Juan. The ferry rides are smoother than
pelagic trips and also boast frequent sightings of alclds and servings of hot food—
the latter a rare commodity on our schedule.
August 24: Our trip to San Juan was successful as we saw 2+ Skylarks flush from
bracken fern in grassy fields (Marilyn Crane's 600th), Harlequin Duck on rockless
shores, Northwestern Crow In reasonably pure race, plus Bald Eagle and innumerable
European Hare. Then the inveterate listers among us headed via ferry and road for
Vancouver and the Crested Myna which flies with Starlings along roads by the airport.
The lona Island Sewage Treatment Plant was good for Pectorals but Bill said no, the
one potential Sharptailed Sandpiper was NOT. Last, we enjoyed all the tall waterfalls and deep canyons as we crossed the Northern Cascades until the dark descended
and the rain commenced. We were grateful to reach our pine paneled housekeeping
August 25: Mazama and Hart's Pass. After the caravan climbed the one lane road over
the mountains, Jerry Baker and Thelma Smith had to retrace the route immediately because of a leaking gas tank. The rest of us hiked the mountains in the 40° drizzle,
seeing few birds but abundant wild flowers in pink, yellow, blue and red. Down off
the mountains we picked up the Lewis Woodpeckers flycatching from the tops of trees
between Twisp and Methow on 153 and Chukar (Betty Cornelius' 600th).
August 26: A foray Into the desert near Othello found Burrowing and Short-eared
Owls, Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow, Prairie Falcon, Chukar. During the last days some
visited Turnbull NWR where 2 m. and 2 im. Trumpeter Swans were swimming In their lake
(each nesting pair defends one entire lake as its territory). East of Spokane found
Gray Partridge. Others saw Long-eared Owl at Moxee and Pygmy Owl and Calliope Hummingbird at Wenas Creek. At White Pass near Mt. Ranier the group saw a Northern
Three-toed Woodpecker on the Cascade Crest Trail. Gladys Galbreath found a piece of
the trunk of a recently cut Alaskan Cedar which had been between 750 to 900 years
old, older than Columbus.
We spent our last day, August 28, at Mt. Ranier. We took in the bright blue skies
and white capped peak as we hiked in meadows of flowers and across fields of snow.
It was the first clear day in weeks at Mt. Ranier, and the views of the glacier were
superb. We celebrated our successes with a last taste of Washington Salmon that
night. When our trip organizer and coordinator, Paul Nimmons, called out the checklists we had seen 186 species in Calif., 207 species in Washington, for a combined
trip list of 273 species. Most were extremely pleased to have the Condor—that "big"
old buzzard"—on their lists but thought the Black-footed Albatross the most Impressive. Anyone following our footsteps will find Jim Lane's Guide to Southern Calif.
and Terry Wahl's Guide to Washington (available from ABA) helpful.