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Connor Cochrane

The Sierra Nevadas

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The Sierra Nevadas in California are only a four hour drive from where I live, but it has so many different species. I’m going to be up here for a week, but I’m going to do a post after each day, to change it up a bit. This will serves as yesterdays post   Yesterday we got a late start, not getting out till 7 or so. We burned Blackwood Canyon. It was an alright day. We got many specialties of the mountains. Calliope Hummingbird, Mountain Quail, White-headed Woodpecker, Dusky Flycatcher, Mountain Chickadee, Green tailed-towhee, Cassin’s Finch, MacGillvarys and Nashville warbler. Some of the 2 better birds were Willow Flycatcher and Evening Grosbeak. After that was a long bike with my family where we didn’t get many birds. 

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On 6/21/2020 at 7:10 AM, Connor Cochrane said:

We burned Blackwood Canyon

 You burned it down! :classic_tongue:

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Day 3 and 4

Day 3

We continued to bird Blackwood Canyon, this time we went up in elevation. We continued to rack up birds of the mountains. Many evening Grosbeak were in pairs, starting to build nests. Warblers of many types were abundant, including many Wilson’s, MacGillvarys, Hermit and Nashville. Mountain Quail we’re calling from the valley below. Higher up in elevation, Olive-sides Flycatcher was singing along with breeding Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Oriantha White-Crowned Sparrow. A good day, but still haven’t seen my targets of Pine Grosbeak and Sooty Grouse. 
 

Day 4

We woke up early and met Mark and Lucas Stephenson, friends of mine down in Alpine County to boys, a county with less than 2,000 people in it. For every one person in this country, there’s 5,000 people Los Angeles country. We started on a little road in the middle of nowhere, where we had good birding, seeing birds like American Dippier, Interior Bushtit, Cassin’s Finch, Bullocks Oriole,  MacGillvarys Warbler, then the bird of the day, California bird 393 for me, Virginia’s Warbler. We first heard it’s chip note, than had them all gray Warbler with yellow under tail coverts fly right in front of us. Next we’re headed to the town of Markleesville, where the Yellow-browed Warbler was seen last year. Calliope, Anna’s and a probable Black-chinned Hummingbird, was around town. We had a flyover flock of Crossbill, our first of the trip. I had a giant flock of 15 or more Nutcrackers. A single Pinyon Jay flew over us. We also had Cassin’s Vireo and Black-headed Grosbeak. Next, along a random pull out, many birds appeared in front of us. Townsend’s Solitaire feeding along the side of the road, a yellow warbler singing along the creek, House Wren, and singing Thick-Billed Fox Sparrow. Next we’re headed up to the large aspen groves of Monitor Pass. Up at the top we had Brewer’s Sparrow, Mountain Bluebird, California Quail, and Dusky Flycatcher. We then descended down into Mono County, and along the road we had many Lazuli Bunting, Black-Billed Magpie, a singing Rock Wren and some Wodehouse Scrub Jay. That was then end of the birding day for us, but we drove back through Nevada and saw many new species for the state along the side of the highway. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/22/2020 at 6:05 PM, Kevin said:

 You burned it down! :classic_tongue:

I assumed that was AutoCorrect 'fixing' the word 'birded' (and hopefully not 'burded''.  Ugh.)

Sounds like a great trip.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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5 hours ago, blackburnian said:

I don’t think days 1 and 2 posted. 

Days one and two are pretty quick in the original post, I can see it.  Day 5 report coming up later today, I’m not sure if this style where I do it daily is more or less confusing, but I’m trying it out. 

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Day 5

Not a lot of birding today, mostly fishing, but got a California Bird, #394 if it gets confirmed Cordilleran Flycatcher,  it was confirmed by a very knowledgeable person who had it yesterday but didn't get recordings. The bird is open for discussion here: 

 

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Day 6

Todays main attraction was the 5 mile hike around Meeks Creek Meadow. Had many of the more unusual Sierra Birds, including Northern Pygmy-owl (First Time I've ever heard one) and Northern Goshawk (Heard only, really wish I could see it, haven't seen one in a while) And more of the usual Sierra Birds, Rufous Hummingbird, White-headed Woodpecker, Dusk Flycatcher, Townsends Solitaire, and MacGliivarys Warbler, full list here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S70790542

 

IMG_4874.jpeg.c8b8d0d36185465dff701ce5ebca0055.jpeg

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I guess it’s time to write the final report. Day 6 didn’t have a lot of birding involved. It was mostly fishing, but at the end of the day, we went north of Truckee where we got Common Nighthawk, Mountain Bluebird, and Brewers and Vesper Sparrow. Day 7 was the over 12 mile hike into the middle of the desolation wilderness. We got a Lifer, Sooty Grouse, but never saw it, even though we could locate the tree it was sitting in. We had our only Hammond Flycatcher of the trip. Other than that is was most of the normal birds. Day 8 we went to Carson Pass to look for Gray-crowned Rosy Finch and Pine Grosbeak, unfortunately we didn’t get either. We walked up the side of a mountain that was pretty much just loose rocks with no trail to look for Rosy Finch. When we submitted the 9800 foot peak, there were sustained 40 mph winds. Not good. We did have a Rock Wren on the top.  Overall there were some good birds, but in the end, nothing that we wanted to see. That was the last stop for our trip. 

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