high desert birds
I did a big triangle in the desert with Bill Myers from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. yesterday, arriving home at 9:30 p.m., going in and out of Kern and L.A. County. Strong winds were blowing from the west, keeping easternvagrants away from us. We had around 75 species:
BUTTERBREDT SPRING had many McGiilivray's Warblers, multiple Willow Flycatchers, Chukar, Mountain Quail, California Quail, male Lazuli Bunting, no eastern vagrants. We drove there in my little Toyota, so an SUV was not necessary.
CALIFORNIA CITY had a juvenile Red Crossbill following an adult. No eastern vagrants. The Tundra Swan was with the domestic geese and the Ross' Goose. Is this the same Tundra Swan that wintered in Pasadena???
We didn't bother to go to GALILEO, having gotten the info on what's there from other L.A. birders.
PIUTE PONDS: Somehow we didn't see the same numbers of birds that the 2 different birders before us saw. We saw no Franklin's Gulls here, and only one Black Tern, but we had 5 Franklin's Gulls and 30 Red-necked Phalaropes at the Lancaster Sewage Ponds. I had never been to the Piute Ponds before. Boy, do I regret that! This place is really neat. It reminded me of Ramer Lake at the Salton Sea.
Mount Pinos: the top of Mount Pinos still has a lot of snow, with snow melt running off every where. No flowers at the top portions. We found no Calliope Hummingbirds. McGill Campground had very few red flowers (not penstemon, don't know what they were). Despite the snow, the top of the mountain had singing Green-tailed Towhees and Thick-billed Fox Sparrows. They ever gonna split them from the other races of Fox Sparrow?
PS: Banning Park Wed evening had a female Cowbird observing the House Sparrow nests: I think she was going to parasitize their nests. Who says life isn't fair?
PPS: I think Mitch had 3 Orchard Orioles, not Scott''s Orioles in 1999.
Thomas Miko (Mikó Tamás)
653 S. Indian Hill Blvd., #C
Claremont, CA 91711
34.109167 N, 117.718293 W
home: (909) 445-1456
cell: (626) 390-1935
FRS radio channel 11 code 22
"I think it likely that one of these statements is a mistake, and the other is a lie." -Mark Twain 1880