Red-faced Warbler on Clark Mt, SBE
The highlight of a great trip to Clark Mountain in East Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, last weekend was finding two RED-FACED WARBLERS on 5/29/05. I saw and photographed one as it was countersinging with an unseen bird at the top of the western of the two white fir "forests."
Other highlights included three HEPATIC TANAGERS, two VIRGINIA'S WARBLERS, four PLUMBEOUS VIREOS, three GRAY VIREOS and one CRISSAL THRASHER. Montane birds included four RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES (two copulating), several WESTERN TANAGERS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, DUSKY and GRAY FLYCATCHERS, two WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES, HERMIT THRUSHES, PINE SISKINS, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES, and one unseen singing and calling junco. BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS were ABUNDANT throughout the pinyon pines and into the white firs, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS were very conspicuously singing above 6,000 ft.
Despite camping on the western rim of the western fir forest, with calm weather for an hour after sunset, I heard no nightjars. It was very windy on Sunday, 5/29, but still a lot of bird activity.
For more information about Clark Mountain, see http://home.att.net/%7Eredknot/clarkmtn.htm This is my second trip, and I climbed to the forest from a western approach not fully described on the Web site above. ~0.3 of a mile before the typical trailhead (or 2.7 mi from the powerline Rd according to my odometer), I drove up a spur road that leads to an old camping area and the wilderness boundary. By taking this route, I avoided having to climb around the dry falls on the main route (though walking toward the dry fall on 5/28 is where I had two Gray Vireos and the Crissal Thrasher).
I'd be happy to discuss in more detail and I'm interested in what others have found at this site. I saw nobody for two days once I left Hwy 15 despite having to wait in line for gas at midnight in Baker on Friday. Amazing to be so close to such a stream of humanity, and seem so far away.
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