RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Quest

Not totally satisfied with my looks at Lawrence's Goldfinch earlier in the week, I tried a couple more times to get a better view. On Monday, I didn't have time to drive all the way up Mines Road, but stopped at numerous places along the lower portion of the road. I didn't find any Lawrence's Goldfinch, but lots of Lesser Goldfinch. Also many Golden-crowned Sparrow (photo left), a bird I hadn't seen the day before. These small birds nest in the Pacific Northwest and winter farther south, so these were winterers. At one point I had almost a dozen sparrows in one bush.

Tuesday afternoon I had a little bit more time, and drove up all the way to The Junction on Mines Road where I had seen the goldfinches earlier. While I was walking around the small volunteer fire department building, a small bird flew up into a bush from a wet spot on the ground--a nice female goldfinch. Then a gorgeous male bird flew up from the water as well and I watched them for a few minutes as they preened, stretching their yellow-barred wings. Killer looks from less than 20 yards away! Mission accomplished!

Also near The Junction, at the sage flats near a cattle guard, were at least 4 Sage Sparrows. These are Bell's Sage Sparrows, a subspecies that some authorities consider to be separate from the more interior Sage Sparrows. The birds were chasing each other around and singing from the tops of the bushes. Very cool. I also got good looks at Nuttal's Woodpecker, another California specialty, and heard its almost kingfisher-like call once as a bird flew in to a nearby tree. What a great area for birding, awesome birds and wonderful scenery.

No comments:

Nature Blog Network Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites