Checklist S59523613

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Location
Harrison/Beehive Lakes Traverse

Owner Jason Talbot

Traveling
  • 1
  • 5 mi
Comments

11.5 m loop hike. 1/2 the hike was cross-country and across the Selkirk Crest. Birded the first 5 miles of the trip for eBird purposes. I didn't do another checklist because I didn't see any additional species so I didn't bother with another checklist. Besides, I was concerned about getting back before dark.
Harrison Lake - Selkirk Crest (Harrison Lake to Beehive Lakes hike - 11.5 miles)
Selkirk Crest (Harrison Lake to Beehive Lakes hike - 11.5 miles)
Selkirk Crest (Harrison Lake to Beehive Lakes hike - 11.5 miles)

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.12

Observations

  1. Number observed: 2

    Comments: Birds were heard along the Selkirk Crest at 6800' elevation above Harrison Lake. As I climbed from Harrison Lake to the crest with a friend, we heard soft clucking very similar to a Chukar (not a Chukar) in the rocky scree just below the cliffs with very little vegetation (I was finally able to find this sound for White-tailed Ptarmigan in xeno canto later at home). It was brief so I didn't have any luck narrowing in on the sound and seeing the birds. This sound helped me rule out mammals for consideration. It didn't sound like grouse but I couldn't rule that out. I've been around many grouse and I haven't heard this sound but that doesn't mean they don't make it. I could not find any sounds in xeno canto for grouse making this soft cluck noise.

    We then got to the crest and I got the following recording and video of a softer non-clucking sound. I was also able to find this sound in xeno canto for White-tailed Ptarmigan but with some hesitation. My hesitation being I never heard any of the erratic calls Ptarmigan make, however, they didn't make much sound to begin with and it was for a very short time. This sound that I matched up in xeno canto was mixed in with longer erratic calls. They were in the rock fields below with no pines or larger vegetation, just grass in the near vicinity (see habitat photos in comments section of checklist). There were at least two briefly heard from my observation making this softer non-clucking sound.
    Click here to see video

    I'm not 100% on the ID with this recording alone but everything else I've found points toward White-tailed Ptarmigan. I'm going on the assumption that they were making a soft clucking noise based on my disturbance, otherwise being silent. They have a history of being in this location but haven't been reported for a while with thoughts that they may have been extirpated from Idaho. It's not too far from larger mountains just across the border in Canada.

    I can't think of anything else it could be and am convinced it's Ptarmigan from my research and limited knowledge of this species. I hope to get feedback from birders with more experience with this species even though my recording alone is not a lot to go on.

  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 1
  4. Number observed: 1
  5. Number observed: 2
  6. Number observed: 2
  7. Number observed: 4
  8. Number observed: 4
  9. Number observed: 2
  10. Number observed: 2
  11. Number observed: 1
  12. Number observed: 7

    Comments: I knew these were rare for this range before I came but I didn't know why (I imagine lower elevation 7,000' not holding snow long enough into the season). I Heard birds flying overhead and immediately my thoughts turned towards Rosy Finch. I checked the sound with my app to be certain and it matched. Seven then landed briefly on the ledge above Harrison Lake where I was able to get brief looks. I didn't see any darker birds for Black Rosy Finch. Mostly lighter brown with gray head but the sun made it hard to pick out further details so it could have been a mixed flock.

  13. Number observed: 5
  14. Number observed: 10