2020-10-17 First Stop, Dirty Socks Spring

Eared Grebe - Podiceps nigricollis
I arrived late in the day at Dirty Socks Spring and tried to capture some last light images of the Eared Grebes near Olancha in Inyo County California, a few miles east of US-395.

On Saturday morning I hit the road to Idaho after getting breakfast at my favorite restaurant (MexiCocina). I got the oil changed in the RV and the generator, and I topped off my propane tank, waved goodbye to my Poway home and drove north up the I-15. My chosen route threw me a curve. After 100 miles I passed the I-210, and the freeway I travelled turned into a four lane parking lot for about eight miles. Getting through that mess set me back more than an hour. I later discovered it was due to construction funnelling the four lanes of traffic into a single lane.

After getting gassed up between Hesperia and Adelanto, I began my charge up US-395. By the time I made it to Dirty Socks Spring (south of Lone Pine) it was late in the day, but I attempted image captures anyway. I found 1st summer Red-Winged Blackbirds, Eared Grebes and Pied-Billed Grebes to enjoy, but I wished I had the lost hour back for better light.

At first I thought the blackbirds before me looked like Tricolored Blackbirds, but as far as I know they stay west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Later I read that the garments of first summer birds are darker than juvenile Red-Wing Blackbird feathering. The Eared Grebes I met were cooperative, but because of the low, end-of-day light, the images are grainy, but I enjoyed their reflections on the smooth water.

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