An Eastern Sierra trip (Alpine, Mono and Inyo Co) 07/22-23

Here the highlights of last weekend’s trip with Jon Katz:Mono Co:-Pinyon Jay (flock of ~200 (!) birds off CA120 east of Lee Vining; this spot was 0.3mi into the first Jeffrey Pines when you head east from the South Tufa turnoff)
-Lewis’s Woodpecker (1; same spot as above)
-Red Crossbill (1 imm. at Virginia Lakes store feeders)
-No Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches any more at Virginia Lakes (what a contrast to two weeks ago when they were virtually everywhere!)
-Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow and Sage Sparrow along access road to South Tufa and along Test Station Rd (Mono Lake area)
-Williamson’s Sapsucker (1 male at 0.4mi west of 395 on Obsidian Dome Rd)

Inyo Co:

-Chukar (50+ mostly young ones at Tollhouse Springs, White Mountains along CA168)
-Black-throated Sparrow (1 imm. at Tollhouse Springs)
-Black-throated Gray Warbler, Juniper Titmouse, Gray Flycatcher (several at unmanned entrance station and at Grandview CG, White Mountains)
-Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed subspecies at Schulman Grove)
-probable Northern Goshawk (Grandview CG)
-Bank Swallow (near ponds where Five Bridges Rd turns into Jean Blanc Rd north of Bishop)
-Lawrence’s Goldfinch (3 birds remaining at Glacier Lodge store/cabin 14)

Alpine Co:

Common Nighthawk (~30 birds actively hunting at sunset on Monitor Pass)
Pinyon Jay (flock of ~50 along CA89 about 0.7mi east of the intersection with CA4)

Bird on!

Tioga Pass and Virginia Lakes 07/10/06

At 8:15am this morning I finally had the 2 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches right underneath the “green bridge” just east of Ellery Lake (Tioga Pass Rd). There also was a Wilson’s Warbler in this area. In the afternoon at around 2pm, I hit paydirt at Virginia Lakes: Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches everywhere!!! In particular, there were about 6 in the upper portion of Trumbull Lake CG off sites 3 and 5 (feeding in the woods!) and 1 flying through about 100 yds lower; 3 were at the feeder at the restaurant/store; 1 poking around the snow patches on the access road to the summer homes at the Virginia Lakes trailhead.Other birds near VL included:
– 5 Red Crossbills feeding on the ground near sites 4 and 6 of Trumbull Lake CG.
– Dusky Flycatcher (at VL trailhead)
– Lots Green-tailed Towhees, Brewer’s Sparrows and Mountain Bluebirds along the road up to the lakes.