Saturday 23 July 2016 69 °F
On Friday, July 15, my dad and I traveled around the Olympic Peninsula to hike & go birding.
Our morning destination was a drive-up mountain peak on the east side of the Olympics called Mt. Walker, where my target birds were Hermit Warbler and Sooty Grouse. The views from the summit viewpoints were spectacular, and we were even at could-level!
Although I failed to find my main target bird, the Hermit Warbler, I did encounter a family of SOOTY GROUSE, life bird! The adult female bird let me take her photo:
After lunch, we drove up to the famous Hurricane Ridge, which sits at over 5,000 feet above sea level and allows for fantastic subalpine and alpine birding, possibly the most famous highland destination for birders in Washington state.
We were worried it would be cloudy, as it usually is, at Hurricane Ridge; however, the views were panoramic and totally exceeded our expectations! It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
We hiked the steep Hurricane Hill, where there was a pretty good number of birds, including this super-cooperative female SOOTY GROUSE:
And the deer, as you can see, were extremely tame:
The wildflowers also put on a radiant display alongside the trail.
Nice photo of an uncommon GRAY JAY in front of the mountains:
HORNED LARK, by far the best photo I have ever obtained of this species:
Near the summit of Hurricane Hill, there was a rather large snowfield. Time to do an obligatory July snow angel!
This Mountain Goat, although a nonnative species, was super cool to see and allowed for some fantastic photo ops in front of the mountains:
This silly young deer obviously hasn't learned how to follow the rules:
It was another great day in the Olympic Mountains! What a fantastic place! I only obtained one life bird on July 15, Sooty Grouse, so that will be my bird-of-the-day. Runners-up to the Gray Jay & Horned Lark.
World Life List: 925 Species (30 life birds on the Olympic Peninsula trip)