Saturday, August 06, 2005

Friday, August 05, 2005

Goat Lake, 7/30-31/2005

A belated trip report on our short backpacking trip into Goat Lake last weekend. Goat Lake is just north of Blacklead Mountain in southeastern Clearwater County. We accessed it from US 12 near Powell, ID, climbing up to the Lolo Motorway and then north into the Cayuse Creek drainage to Blacklead Mountain (elev. ~7500'). This is not a trivial drive as it took 2 hours from US 12 on USFS roads!

This is an unprotected roadless area and beautiful country with spectacular views of the Bitterroot crest and other ranges. We camped in the sub-alpine zone at Goat Lake (~ 6500'). There was quite a bit of bird activity in the lake area and on our hike out Sunday AM.

The bird highlight was a brilliant male WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL where we parked just south of Blacklead summit (the only road into the area). There are somewhat regular reports of this species in the high elevation areas of the Clearwater Mountains. A complete list is below.

I'll put a few photos at

Red-tailed Hawk
Blue Grouse -
Spotted Sandpiper
Great Horned Owl
Rufous Hummingbird
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Rock Wren - mouth of old mine
American Robin
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Steller's Jay
Clark's Nutcracker - incl. one w/ rosy throat presumably from pine pollen staining
Common Raven
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow - feeding young, dark lored interior sub-species
Dark-eyed Junco
Cassin's Finch
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill - brilliant male just south of Blacklead summit along rd
Pine Siskin

thanks, Charles.

Charles Swift
Moscow, ID