I walked the Tilley Jane trail on the east side of Mt. Hood. This trail starts near the Cooper Spur Ski Area and goes about two and a half miles up to the Tilley Jane Campground.
Much of the trail goes through an area that burned a few years ago, so there are lots of standing dead trees and wildflowers.
Burned areas are great for woodpeckers and other cavity nesters. This is a young Northern Flicker that was peeking out of her nest hole.
Dark-eyed Junco. Yes, I can see them out my living room window, but they look better on the mountain.
We came upon this Black-tailed Deer nursing her new fawn. If the fawn had been hidden, I think the doe would have taken off. But since the baby was exposed, they both just froze as we passed by.
This Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel looks like she might be carrying a litter.
Charismatic megafauna among the lupines
At higher elevations, Cassin’s Finches became common, if not cooperative.
Along with the wildflowers are butterflies. The flowers are interesting in person, but not so much in photos. A few butterflies, like this Pacific Fritillary, posed for good looks.
This is a Persius Duskywing, which I had never heard of before.
Timberline Lodge (Birding Oregon p. 74) is a great place to for some high-elevation birding in the Cascades. A good paved road leads right up to the treeline, and you can access the Pacific Crest Trail just uphill from the lodge. The parking lot is often full of tourists and skiers, even in late summer. But if you are willing to walk for a while, you can enjoy solitude and stunning scenery.
Brewer’s Blackbirds are common residents of parking lots in the Portland area, but it is nice to see them in a more natural setting here.
This female Brewer’s Blackbird is one of the small percentage of the population with pale eyes.
Mountain Bluebird, male
Mountain Bluebird, female
This pair of Mountain Bluebirds had built a nest in a gap under the eave of a small building above the lodge.
Lots of these little butterflies were feeding on the scattered wildflowers. My best guess is Acmon Blue.
The highlight of my long oxygen-deprived hike uphill from Timberline Lodge was this Yellow-bellied Marmot. He looks very regal in this pose.