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2014 Early August With Birds at June Lake

Western Wood-Pewee

I am fortunate to have generous friends willing to welcome me into their homes as I travel. My friends Carmen and Mark have a house at June Lake California. I spent the second week of April 2014 with them, running down birds in some of the most beautiful settings that the region has to offer. It is a most remarkable area, ranking in my mind, as one of the most spectacular in the USA. Highway 395 runs north and south and passes under the eastern shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These are highest peaks in the lower 48 states of the USA. If you’ve never visited this region… I’m sorry! You are missing out on something special.

There are too many images from this period to share in a single post, so I’ve broken it into segments about several sub-locations I visited. This first episode describes my visit at June Lake. June Lake is both a town and a lake, but in this story I speak of the body of water.

June Lake Loop (CA-158) is a sideroad to the west of Highway US-395, which loops back to the highway as it follows Rush Creek, rejoining US-395 south of Mono Lake. When travelling north to this region, it is the most direct route to the town of June Lake. The road passes June Lake (the body of water) a few miles before reaching the town. The first road leading to the beaches on the east end of June Lake is called North Shore Drive, and goes to “Oh Ridge Campground”. Passing through the camp, the road leads down to the lake shore, where I met a congregation of interesting birds and mammals.

While spending time with shoreline birds I could hear Clark’s Nutcrackers crowing from a high point across the water. When I finished with the shoreline I drove around to the location I heard the birds, and met a different avian community. It was the nutcrackers that most interested me. My previous meetings with these birds were fleeting, all too and distant and brief. This was a much more satisfying encounter.

Images of these subjects (Green-Tailed Towhee, Willow Flycatcher, Clark’s Nutcracker, Steller’s Jay, Brewer’s Sparrow, Pygmy Nuthatch, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Western Wood-Pewee, Yellow-Rumped Warbler) appear below:

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