Mt. Hood National Forest, 9/17/2011

Nala and I walked part of the Pacific Crest Trail in Mt. Hood National Forest, starting at Little Crater Lake (Birding Oregon p. 75) and walking north for about seven miles before turning around. The edge of this old clearcut provides a view into the valley below. If it weren’t for the low cloud cover on this day, you would be able to see Mt. Hood in this photo.

As expected this time of year, the forest held very few birds. Once the nesting season ends in July, most birds on the west slope of the Cascades take off. For some reason, forests on the east slope maintain a higher species diversity. In five hours of walking, I found (in order of decreasing abundance) Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red Crossbills, Gray Jays, American Robins, Swainson’s Thrushes, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Common Ravens,  Dark-eyed Juncos, and singles of Brown Creeper (above) and Wilson’s Warbler.

There was plenty of evidence of woodpecker activity. The rectangular holes suggest Pileated Woodpecker.

Various berries provided a dash of color.

Nala on the trail

Douglas’ Squirrel

the wet meadow near Little Crater Lake

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