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2459Trip Report: Yosemite, Mono Lake, White Mountains

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  • sramachandramurthi
    Sep 6, 2003
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      Hi folks,

      here are the bird highlights from my trip to
      Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, and the White Mountains
      during the Labor day weekend.

      8 AM, Sunday, August 31: White Mountains

      50 CHUKAR
      4 CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS

      The Chukars were in three flocks near Tollhouse Springs.
      Although I could hear them calling loudly all around me,
      I couldn't spot them until they flew from the spring side
      to the rocky hillside across the highway.

      I saw nothing of note in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forests.
      No sign of bird activity except for the sparrows and rock wrens.
      There was no evidence of any finches or flycatchers.
      It was beautiful country though.

      11 AM Monday, September 1: Mono Lake County Park, Lee Vining

      1 WILLOW FLYCATCHER

      This bird was merrily flycatching near the observation
      deck at the end of the boardwalk at the County Park at 11 AM,
      providing excellent scope-filling views.
      The upward tail-flick, orange lower mandible, and eye-ring
      (lack thereof) could be well observed.
      Since the bird was silent, the identification is based on
      habitat and location only.

      4 PM, Monday, September 1: Soda Springs, Yosemite National Park

      4 RED CROSSBILL
      1 PRAIRIE FALCON
      2 CLARK'S NUTCRACKER

      Both species were well seen at 4 PM from near the little
      log shack that protects the soda springs.
      The Crossbills were calling from the tree-tops, and a scope
      was necessary for positive ID (I had to go back for the scope).

      The big surprise of the trip was the Prairie Falcon,
      which flew overhead and could be identified from the
      black armpits on an otherwise pale falcon.

      I had no luck with any of my other target finches at Yosemite
      (i.e. Pine Grosbeak, Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch).

      --Sidd Ramachandramurthi
      Mountain View, CA