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Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks at Lassen Volcanic National Park

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  • Lance Benner
    Greetings Everyone, Kathi Ellsworth and I have spent the last couple of days in Lassen Volcanic National Park and at adjacent areas. Although our primary
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2012
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      Greetings Everyone,

      Kathi Ellsworth and I have spent the last couple of days in Lassen
      Volcanic National Park and at adjacent areas. Although our primary
      focus hasn't been birds, we've done some birding and have been struck by
      the widespread red crossbills we keep encountering at various places
      below 7000 feet in elevation, by groups of evening grosbeaks, and by
      varied thrushes.

      The single most productive spot has been the parking lot at Subway Cave
      Lava Tube in Lassen National Forest near the junction of routes 89 and
      44 (a short distance north of Lassen NP). There's a dripping drinking
      fountain that was attracting droves of birds this afternoon. We found
      at least 70 evening grosbeaks there, about 20 red crossbills, 3
      solitaires, two varied thrushes, and other montane species. The list
      from eBird appears below; among the species listed, all the ones with
      an asterisk (*) next to them were coming to the drinking fountain (i.e.,
      most of them).

      We also found flocks of red crossbills at Summit Lake and at the
      Devastation Area parking lot (both within Lassen National Park), and at
      St. Bernard Lodge B & B on highway 36 between Lassen NP and Chester.
      To my ear, the crossbills sounded like type 2s, but that's tentative
      until I have a chance to generate sonograms from my recordings to check
      the call type(s). St. Bernard Lodge B & B also had a small group of
      evening grosbeaks on Saturday morning and a northern saw-whet owl on
      Friday night.

      The evening grosbeaks sounded like a mixture of type 1s and type 2s, but
      again, I need to check sonograms of my recordings to be sure.

      We also found four varied thrushes at Summit Lake for a total of six

      Other highlights:

      Two golden eagles in Lassen National Park near the Diamond Peak trail
      head on Saturday morning.

      One sooty grouse on the side of highway 89 about a mile south of the
      south entrance to the National Park at 5 pm on Saturday.

      Two sandhill cranes at Butte Lake on Sunday at about 6 pm.

      This is our first visit to this area, so perhaps some of this is normal,
      but we still thought it would be of general interest.


      Lance Benner
      Altadena, CA

      Kathi Ellsworth
      San Dimas, CA

      -------- Begin forwarded message --------
      Subject: eBird Report - Subway Lava Tube, Lassen NF, Oct 21, 2012

      Subway Lava Tube, Lassen NF, Shasta, US-CA
      Oct 21, 2012 2:35 PM - 4:45 PM
      Protocol: Traveling
      0.5 mile(s)
      Comments: We hiked through the lava tube and then back to the
      parking lot. Many of the birds were coming to a dripping drinking
      fountain at the edge of the parking lot.

      22 species

      * Hairy Woodpecker 2
      * White-headed Woodpecker 3
      * Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 2
      * Steller's Jay 5
      Common Raven 1
      * Red-breasted Nuthatch 10
      * White-breasted Nuthatch 2
      * Pygmy Nuthatch 10
      Brown Creeper 1
      * Townsend's Solitaire 3
      * American Robin 3
      Varied Thrush 2
      * Spotted Towhee 4
      * Fox Sparrow (Sooty) 2
      * Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored) 3
      * Golden-crowned Sparrow 3
      * Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 5
      * Cassin's Finch 3
      * Red Crossbill 20
      Pine Siskin 2
      * Lesser Goldfinch 6
      Evening Grosbeak 70

      This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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