2014 June Lakes and White Mountain

Green-Tailed Towhee
Green-Tailed Towhee south of White Mountain at about 9300 feet elevation. Northern Inyo County, California.

I went looking for Black-Backed Woodpeckers at a two or three-year-old burn along US Highway 395 a few miles north of June Lake Junction. While I failed in that endeavor, I found Williamson’s Sapsuckers and Lewis’ Woodpeckers instead. Also found here were Brewer’s Sparrows, Sage Thrasher (juvenile) and Green-Tailed Towhees.

I had spent four wonderful days in the area, but the following day I headed south towards home. Rather than a direct route south, I detoured by taking a left turn in Big Pine and driving up to the area of White Mountain, a peak nearly as high as the highest in the Sierra-Nevadas (Mount Whitney), but in the lesser-known anticline range east of the Sierras, and home to perhaps the oldest living things on earth — the Bristlecone Pines. The threat of approaching storms persuaded me not to press on to these amazing trees. Instead, I spent the night on the ridge near the road that enters the White Mountain area. The next morning I enjoyed the sunrise washing the Sierra-Nevadas west of my perch on the ridge and visited a young Green-Tailed Towhee family before heading home.

For more information about the geology of the region, read <This Post>.

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