(Pepsid?) Wasp


Mt. San Jacinto, Palm Springs Tram w/ San Diego Natural History Museum
Sep 27, 2003 
Guides: Bob Miller and Tim Cass

A botany, birding and all-around nature field trip to the top of the Tram.  Tim is a "plant guy" and this trip was a great learning experience for me as well.  

species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Tree sniffers! 
It always feels nice to step out at mountain station on a summer day.  The cool mountain air and the smell of the forest is addictive.  Not as addictive as this pic might suggest but the vanilla smell of a big Jeffery Pine is worth looking a little silly!
We added a few birds to our list while on the upper station deck and then got a bite to eat before heading down the trail. OK, before heading down the trail again! 

Hairy (not Downey ;-) Woodpecker!

The birding in late September has definitely slowed down at the top.  We had only two Hairy and one Acorn Woodpecker.  Conjuring couldn't even produce a White-headed Woodpecker for us!  A Cassin's Vireo found by Geoff was a treat.  The humor was flowing, don't let the apparent scowl fool you, (sorry Geoff, couldn't resist!) as we kept calling everything a Downey something or other! OK, so it was my fault!

Yellow-rumped Warbler seemed to be the most common bird of the day followed by Western Bluebirds.  One Band-tailed Pigeon came up the middle of Long Valley at full speed and the Clark's Nutcrackers were flying high. 

The adventurers!

Funereal Duskywing

Orange Sulphur

Butterflies were very numerous in the patio area  at the bottom station and we had some nice ones on top also. Each of the two butterflies above has one "look-alike" so let me know if I called one of the twins by the wrong name. 

There were still some beautiful colors about in the cooler damp spots, like this Yellow Monkey Flower.  You will have to let me know what the other is! Heliotrope of some kind is my guess.

Variegated Meadowhawk
This lone Variegated Meadowhawk was the only dragon we saw on top and it was a beaut! There were several Flame Skimmers around the bottom station and a damsel or two I could not get close to. Darkness comes early in the deep canyons and it makes the surrounding desert seem so much brighter.  

I had a great drive home and hope you all did as well.  Thanks everyone for coming along and Dee for making it happen!

The view!

Going up!

Mount San Jacinto State Park, Sep 27, 2003
  1. Clark's Nutcracker

  2. Steller's Jay

  3. White-throated Swift

  4. Violet-green Swallow

  5. Acorn Woodpecker

  6. Purple Finch

  7. Pygmy Nuthatch

  8. Western Bluebird

  9. Mountain Chickadee


  1. Dark-eyed Junco 

  2. Band-tailed Pigeon

  3. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  4. Townsend's Warbler

  5. Cassin's Vireo

  6. Hairy Woodpecker

  7. Common Raven

  8. White-breasted Nuthatch

  9. Northern Flicker (heard only)

Photos Bob Miller