Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows birds
- Greetings everyone,
A quick trip on route 120 through the high country at Yosemite produced some interesting birds on Sunday (Nov. 26).
Perhaps most unusual were two Varied Thrushes along a creek at the extreme east end of Tuolumne Meadows. I saw them just as they flushed from the edge of the road up into some conifers.
Nearby, some of the many Clark's Nutcrackers in the area were mobbing a Great Horned Owl.
Earlier, while poking around between Dana Meadows and Tuolumne Meadows, I stumbled across two flocks of Red Crossbills. Some were all brown and were thus probably young birds.
At Tuolumne Meadows itself the first bird I found was a very vocal female Belted Kinfisher. Other birds of note included a very tame Wilson's Snipe foraging on the edge of a partially frozen pool, a flock of about 15 Pine Siskins, and two Mountain Bluebirds.
When I arrived in the morning it was sunny and there was very little snow at Tuolumne Meadows and perhaps only an inch or two at Tioga Pass. However, shortly after noon flurries started, and by 2 pm it was snowing hard. At about that time, park rangers came through telling people to leave because they were about to close the road, so I scooted over the pass, where I saw a pickup spin out of control on the slick road behind me. This was a major storm, so route 120 across the Tioga Pass may be closed until next spring or early summer.