Mountain Chickadee in the Sequoias


California Sierras
May 27- Jun 1, 2003, mostly hot!
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A trip up to the Gold Country to see a friend, birding on the way up and back 
species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Snowy Plover - Salton Sea

My first stop was Ramer Lake at 3:00PM - way too hot to be birding in the Imperial Valley! 

Black-crowned Night Heron & Egret Colony

Snowy Egret

I watched lots of egrets and grebes, but looked in vain for Fulvous Whistling-Duck and the Anhinga.
Off of Johnson Road I spotted egrets, a Least Bittern, two flamingoes, Snowy Plover, and Caspian Terns.  A nice bonus was a California King Snake along the canal.

Least Bittern 

Chilean Flamingoes

The next morning on the way up to Butterbredt Springs I flushed several flocks of Mountain Quail.  The Springs itself was quiet with relatively few migrants: Willow Flycatchers, Swainson's Thrushes, a Cedar Waxwing, and a Wilson's Warbler.  The Kern River Preserve made a nice lunch stop, and had swallows taking advantage of the bluebird homes.

Tree Swallow

  Kernville Flower

North of Kernville a fire last summer burned 150,000 acres; this spring the charred ground is alive with wild flowers.  An interesting sight was a Red-tailed Hawk flying off with a Scrub Jay in its talons.


At Holly Meadow I saw my first "California" Pileated Woodpecker, and just north of there I walked the Trail of 100 Giants--awe-inspiring  trees with lots of birds!  Back down in the Sacramento Valley were plenty of Yellow-billed Magpies and a White-tailed Kite.  During my two days at Nick's house in the foothills west of Stockton, I heard & saw Pacific-slope Flycatchers and Wild Turkey.

Giant Sequoia

Sierra Nevadas along Hwy 88

Cassin's Finches

After visiting Nick, I headed east over the Sierras on Hwy 88, where I found finches and American Dipper.

Hot Springs Stream

At Monitor Pass (8314'), Mountain Bluebirds, singing Green-tailed Towhees, and singing Sage Thrashers were a great treat.  As I entered the Antelope Valley, Black-billed Magpies welcomed me to their home. On Sunday I arose early to the songs of Spotted Towhees & California Quail.  Several spots along the way south on Hwy 395 had hot springs and streams.  

Mono Lake was beautiful as always, dotted with grebes, California Gulls, and breeding Avocets. At Tollhouse Springs west of Big Pine, on the road up to the Bristlecone Pine Forest,  I was happy to find a flock of Pinyon Jays and four Red Crossbills.  
American Avocet

California Gull at Mono Lake

A little farther up the road a Gray Flycatcher and a Black-throated Gray Warbler were singing.  But since it was almost 1:00p.m., I figured I better hit the road, and finally made it back home to Yuma eight hours later.

Salton Sea to Sierra Nevadas, 27 May - 1 June 2003
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Clark's Grebe
4 American White Pelican
5 Double-crested Cormorant
6 Least Bittern
7 Great Blue Heron
8 Great Egret
9 Snowy Egret
10 Cattle Egret
11 Green Heron
12 Black-crowned Night Heron
13 White-faced Ibis
14 Canada Goose
15 Wood Duck
16 Gadwall
17 Mallard
18 Cinnamon Teal
19 Northern Shoveler
20 Ruddy Duck
21 Osprey
22 White-tailed Kite
23 Cooper's Hawk
24 Red-shouldered Hawk
25 Red-tailed Hawk
26 American Kestrel
27 Wild Turkey
28 Mountain Quail
29 California Quail
30 Gambel's Quail
31 Common Moorhen
32 American Coot
33 Snowy Plover
34 Killdeer
35 Black-necked Stilt
36 American Avocet
37 Long-billed Dowitcher
38 Wilson's Phalarope
39 California Gull
40 Forster's Tern
41 Black Skimmer
42 Rock Dove
43 Band-tailed Pigeon
44 White-winged Dove
45 Mourning Dove
46 Common Ground-Dove
47 Burrowing Owl
48 Lesser Nighthawk
49 Vaux's Swift
50 White-throated Swift
51 Black-chinned Hummingbird
52 Anna's Hummingbird
53 Costa's Hummingbird
54 Belted Kingfisher
55 Acorn Woodpecker
56 Gila Woodpecker
57 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
58 Nuttal's Woodpecker
59 Hairy Woodpecker
60 Northern Flicker
61 Pileated Woodpecker
62 Western Wood Pewee
63 Willow Flycatcher
64 Gray Flycatcher
65 Dusky Flycatcher
66 Pacific Slope Flycatcher
67 Black Phoebe
68 Say's Phoebe
69 Ash-throated Flycatcher
70 Western Kingbird
71 Loggerhead Shrike
72 Warbling Vireo
73 Stellar's Jay
# Species
74 Western Scrub Jay
75 Pinyon Jay
76 Clark's Nutcracker
77 Black-billed Magpie
78 Yellow-billed Magpie
79 American Crow
80 Common Raven
81 Horned Lark
82 Tree Swallow
83 Violet-green Swallow
84 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
85 Cliff Swallow
86 Barn Swallow
87 Mountain Chickadee
88 Oak Titmouse
89 Verdin
90 Bushtit
91 Red-breasted Nuthatch
92 White-breasted Nuthatch
93 Brown Creeper
94 Cactus Wren
95 Rock Wren
96 Bewick's Wren
97 House Wren
98 Marsh Wren
99 American Dipper
100 Golden-crowned Kinglet
101 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
102 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
103 Western Bluebird
104 Mountain Bluebird
105 Swainson's Thrush
106 Hermit Thrush
107 American Robin
108 Northern Mockingbird
109 Sage Thrasher
110 European Starling
111 Cedar Waxwing
112 Yellow-rumped Warbler
113 Common Yellowthroat
114 Black-throated Gray Warbler
115 Wilson's Warbler
116 Yellow Warbler
117 Summer Tanager
118 Western Tanager
119 Green-tailed Towhee
120 Spotted Towhee
121 California Towhee
122 Abert's Towhee
123 Brewer's Sparrow
124 Vesper Sparrow
125 Lark Sparrow
126 Sage Sparrow
127 Savannah Sparrow
128 Song Sparrow
129 Dark-eyed Junco
130 Black-headed Grosbeak
131 Lazuli Bunting
132 Red-winged Blackbird
133 Western Meadowlark
134 Scott's Oriole
135 Yellow-headed Blackbird
136 Brewer's Blackbird
137 Great-tailed Grackle
138 Brown-headed Cowbird
139 Hooded Oriole
140 Bullock's Oriole
141 Cassin's Finch
142 House Finch
143 Red Crossbill
144 Pine Siskin
145 Lesser Goldfinch
146 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler, 2003