Showing posts from July, 2017

Port Townsend, etc.

Last weekend Jacob and I went up to the Olympic Peninsula with the main goal of seeing orcas and puffins from boats out of Port Townsend.  We got a rocky start when our Airbnb host mentioned the day before we were leaving that her German Shepherd was free-roaming on the property we planned to stay at with our dogs.  Um.  No.  Thankfully I was able to find a place at the last minute farther away in Bremerton, home of the Saboteur Bakery.

We took our time on the drive up and stopped at Dosewallips State Park where a small herd of elk was grazing.

We drove over the Hood Canal Bridge, the third longest floating bridge in the world, and could see tons of alcids in the water below.  We stopped at Salsbury Point Park on the east end to try to get views of the birds with mild success.  Lots of Pigeon Guillemots were flying around and a lone Marbled Murrelet was diving close enough for a visual. 

State bird!  Year bird!

We hit up Point No Point also and had our first Rhinoceros Auklets of the t…

Mount Rainier- Paradise

You know what July means?  Ridiculous amounts of time spent searching for White-tailed Ptarmigan on Mt. Rainier of course.  On my recent weekend Audrey and I went up to Paradise bright and early to hike the Skyline Trail up to Panorama Point and beyond, checking all the known ptarmigan haunts.  The forecast was for clear skies so of course it was cloudy with a dense misty fog. 

Oh and there was still quite a bit of snow on parts of the trail.  Fun times.  About ten minutes into our first hike we heard a Sooty Grouse booming.  We finally located the fellow tucked into some trees across a snow-covered meadow. 

Because of the fragile meadow we could not get too close so we were extra pleased when we found a female grouse poking around right by the trail, not far from the male.

This seemed like a good sign for our chicken search.  We continued up the trail, or what we thought was the trail, passing marmots and squirrels and things.  At the edge of a large patch of snow we noticed a small …