I awoke at my campsite beside Crowley Lake this morning to a nice sunrise. I showered and ate leftovers from two nights ago and then took a quick spin to the Owen’s River and a hot springs I knew about from past visits. It seems I was too early to find Wilson’s Phalaropes. I’d found them at the hot springs in past visits, but the only shorebirds seen today were a single Black-Necked Stilt and a tight bundle of a dozen Least Sandpipers zooming over the waters of the marshy ponds.
The strong winds of last night picked up again from the west bringing with them clouds. I headed north and explored the June Lakes Loop road. The high windy conditions limited my ability to find birds, but I was finding Brewer’s Blackbirds everywhere I went on this trip. From June Lakes I travelled to South Tufa Beach at Mono Lake. The weather continued to deteriorate as the day progressed. Travelling at 7000’ with passes of 8000’ could mean snow, and I was not prepared for significant snow. I continued on past Lee Vining and Bridgeport and the rains soon greeted me. Rain mixed with snow did a good job of cleaning my windshield, but I pushed onward, hoping not to get caught. I was lucky. By the I reached the lower Walker River Valley, the snowline was above me. Tonight I’ll be sleeping in the Walmart Parking lot in Carson City Nevada.