Re: three-toed woodpecker at Big Hill Lookout
- 7/6/03 El Dorado County
Please excuse the multiple posts.
The Three-toed Woodpecker reported yesterday (see John Trochet's message below) was not refound this morning before 9:00 a.m. when I left. There is a lot of country out there, so it would be easy to miss.
If you are going to give it a try, I would suggest walking the fire roads below the location described in addition to walking the main roadside. These can be accessed at the first turn below the parking area described by John Trochet.
There are Hairy Woodpeckers in the area, so be careful when looking at juvenile birds of this species. Sibley notes that Hairy Woodpeckers can show yellow feathers on the front of the crown. Of the typical birds from this area, best were several Mountain Bluebirds and a Common Nighthawk. Finding a horned lizard on a brief stop in Cameron Park was the highlight of my day, however.
----- Original Message -----
From: John and Glennah Trochet
To: Sierra Nevada Birds
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 8:46 PM
Subject: [Mtn-birds] three-toed woodpecker at Big Hill Lookout
Late this morning Jeri Langham called me with news that a three-toed
woodpecker was found near the Big Hill Lookout in El Dorado National
Forest. I do not have the observer's permission to broadcast his name,
but he is well known to Sacramento area birders, and I did speak to him
myself. His description was very good. So I spent some 5+ hours
looking this afternoon, without success.
To get to the spot, go east on U.S. Highway 50 from Sacramento. Go
through Pollock Pines. About 5-8 miles past Pollock Pines, turn left
(north) on Icehouse Road (turn is signed on highway). Follow Icehouse
Road past Icehouse Resort. About two miles past the resort is the left
turn onto Big Hill Lookout Road. Follow this to the end (the lookout)
and start back down. About two or three tenths of a mile down from the
top is a comparatively wide gravel shoulder on which to park. From this
spot there are three large live pines to the south, but most of this
area was burned in the Cleveland Fire a few years back. Dead standing
and fallen trees dominate the area. The bird was seen from the road
shoulder in a dead tree about 100-150 feet away.
I had a couple of consolation prizes, so to speak. From the Big
Hill Vista Point at the top, there is a black oak with a dead top and
dense green base about 200 feet down slope at a compass heading of 20
degrees. A blue grouse was singing from this oak about 5:30 p.m. About
2:00 p.m., I heard a poorwill sing twice from close range well down
slope from the three-toed spot. I can't recall ever hearing a poorwill
sing at midday before.
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