2017-07-18 Twin Lakes Mammoth, Round Two

Pine Siskin

My plan for this day was to head out to the end of Lake Mary Road in Mammoth. There were several locations nearby where I thought I might find the Pine Grosbeak. On reflection, I’d seen several birds at distance on other outings in the Eastern Sierras on this trip that I dismissed as Purple Finches. I now suspect they were Pine Grosbeaks. I planned to be on the lookout for them more so today. I believe I’m almost done with this region for now. I love it here, but I need to start my run back south soon. I’ve met some nice birds on this trip. Several gave up some decent images.

Mammoth Basin, at the end of Lake Mary Road wasn’t very birdy today. It didn’t help that the wind was very strong all day. I can’t be sure, but I think I caught a brief glimpse of a pair Gray-Crowned Rosy Finches at the top of the smaller falls dropping to Twin Lakes.

With the windy conditions, I thought the unused campsite at the bottom of Twin Falls might be less windy and worth another try. I drove down and parked on the east side of the upper lake and packed my gear over the bridges to see what birds that might be out and about. Two days ago I hunkered down in one location and explored little of the rest of the camp. Today I wandered the entire campground and found a few different birds. I found wrens, but they were House Wrens. It seemed there was an entire family. Orange-Crowned Warblers, Song Sparrows, Western Tanagers and Western Wood-Pewee were all present, but the only “Pine” birds I saw well were Pine Siskins. I think I caught a fleeting glimpse of a reddish finch-like bird which could have been the grosbeak I sought. But alas, no pictures were had.

One bird I thought interesting was a Red-Naped Sapsucker. I captured a few poor, but ID quality images in case someone might want to weigh in on the ID. I think there were two birds at the southern end of the campgrounds.

A footnote to my previous post and my rant about “common” birds. As I am less than familiar with what is rare and what is common in this area, I posted images of the Nashville Warbler I met on my earlier trip. Today I received an email from Dave Shuford, who has been studying this bird’s nesting practices in the Eastern Sierras. I exchanged several helpful emails with him (seems we both have a friendship with Phil Unitt). One of my “common” bird images added a small piece to the body of knowledge for this bird.

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