11/25/11: Horned Grebes, Northern Goshawk, Pacific Wren
David Blue and I birded portions of the Kern River Valley and
Greenhorn Mountains today (Fr, 11/25/11) from 6:30am to 1:30pm (not
including 5am to 6:30am and 1:30pm to 2:15pm non-birding travel time
HIGHLIGHTS: HORNED GREBE 2, NORTHERN GOSHAWK 1, PACIFIC WREN 1.
A stationary count looking down on the Kern River from the Slippery
Rock Launch site overlook yielded a nice suite of seventeen species
as detected from a single spot including Common Goldeneye, Spotted
Sandpiper, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, and Belted Kingfisher.
A stationary count 0.6 miles west on Sawmill Rd. from CA Hwy 155
yielded species including Rufous-crowned Sparrow (2 individuals).
Tillie Creek Campground yielded numerous species and numbers
including Red-naped Sapsucker (3 individuals) plus the expected
numerous Phainopeplas, Purple Finches, and more common species. NOTE:
N. John Schmitt found HORNED GREBE (2 individuals) in/on the north
arm of Isabella Reservoir below Tillie Creek Campground just a few
minutes before we ran into him in the campground proper. A walk down
to the shore of the reservoir and a follow-up search for the grebes
by the three of us failed to relocate these two Horned Grebes;
perhaps due to the fact they were moving quickly when John observed
The coniferous/evergreen zone of the Greenhorn Mountains as accessed
by CA Hwy 155 yielded species including NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1
individual enjoyed flying low, flying higher, plus calling from near
and calling from afar throughout a 27 minute period), Band-tailed
Pigeon (12 individuals of this species which has been otherwise
undetected this month), White-headed Woodpecker (3 individuals),
PACIFIC WREN (1 individual calling along the creek where it runs
through the upper portion of the community of Alta Sierra), and
Townsend's Solitaire (1+).
A drive along the first five miles of Kelso Valley Rd. south from CA
Hwy 178 in Weldon yielded species including four Cactus Wrens and one
An early afternoon visit to our last stop at Scodie Park in the
community of Onyx was quiet in terms of bird activity with a single
female Hairy Woodpecker proving to be the highlight (no Williamson's
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, or Red-naped Sapsucker reported
for this park thus far this 2011-2012 fall-winter season).
Continued Happy & Productive Birding,
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
24/7 Cell Phone Number: 760-382-1260