Thursday, July 5, 2007: We headed up toward Hurricane Ridge early today. We made several birding stops on the way up. Bird highlights included a flyby of 3 Clark's Nutcrackers, a Golden Eagle, good looks at a Red Crossbill. A short walk up a streamside trail yielded both wildflowers and scenery. Wildflowers seen on the drive up included Columbia Lily, Columbia Columbine, Shooting Star (Dodecatheon) and Paintbrush.
|Shooting Star||Waterfall||The Olympics|
Mule Deer were out by the parking lot when we arrived at the Hurricane Ridge visitor's center. After admiring the view, we drove to the Hurricane Hill trailhead and started up. The trail was not particularly birdy, but provided great views! Wildflowers seen included Avalanche and Glacier Lilies and Larkspurs. We saw several Olympic Chipmunks were running along the side of the trail. Susan was pleased to see the snow patches, and even made a snow angel in one near the top. As we got to the meadows, we found displaying American Pipits and at least 4 Olympic Marmots. The views got more and more spectacular as we made our way up to the top.
|Hurricane Ridge View||Olympic Chipmunk||Olympic Marmot|
|Avalanche Lilies||Hurricane Hill|
|The Olympics||From Hurricane Hill|
On the way down, we found an Evening Grosbeak and an Audubon's Warbler did some flycatching right in front of us. We returned to the visitor's center for lunch, then headed down the hill. Susan spotted a Showshoe Hare in the parking lot when we got back.
We stopped at the Heart of the Hills campground to bird a bit. I got a brief glimpse of a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, which I've been hearing a lot, but Susan still needs to see it. There was a noisy flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees there and a Stellar's Jay put in a brief appearance.
|Heermann's Gull||Western Gull|
We stopped at the grocery in Port Angeles, then headed to Ediz Hook. Ediz Hook is a sandspit (now looking more like a jetty) that creates the harbor at Port Angeles. We got our first Heermann's Gulls of the trip, and additional looks at Pigeon Gullimots, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Harlequin Ducks. A seal and River Otter were spotted swimming about.
By now, it was late in the afternoon and we returned to the lodge for a break. I took some photos and found Pine Siskin near the water's edge. I tracked down a singing Winter Wren in the trees. While sitting on my balcony, a couple of Chickerees (Douglas Squirrel) came down a nearby cedar.
|Foxglove||Lake Crescent Lodge||Lake Crescent|
We then drove along the lake a bit, stopping at a picnic area for dinner. We then returned to the lodge where we walked the short (2/3 mile) Moments in Time Trail. The forest here is absolutely amazing. It's even more amazing when you realize that this is not old-growth forest. I didn't realize maples and alders could get so tall!
Today's bird totals: Day, 35. Trip, 131. Lifers, 0.
Mammals: Day, 6. Trip, ?. Lifers, 3.
Lake Crescent Lodge, Olympic NP, WA