Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: Birds of Lake Isabella

Although I have never been to Lake Isabella or the Sequoia National Forest I didn't really get a chance to explore. With late night owling both Friday and Saterday night as well as volunteering to help with making the owl nest boxes there wasn't really a ton of free time. Sunday morning however I did wake up early, despite not going to bed until very late again, to take a minute to check out a few birds and the lake. I decided to bird around a campground that one of the volunteers recommended I try for Pygmy Owl. Pygmy Owls are dinernal meaning that they hunt and are awake during the day. Although I played the call several times over the four hours I birded I didn't hear a single peep from the Pygmy Owl.

I did get to hear a distant Piliated Woodpecker call. Although i couldn't see him, and I did play his call as well to try to bring him in, I could sure hear him. The pounding alone sounded like a JACKHAMMER. I was really bummed to not be able to find this beautiful bird, it would have been a lifer for me. But rather than cry about my spilled milk I focused on things I could see like a Fox Sparrow. This little guy is a new bird for me and he was beautiful. Another to cross off the Nerdy Birdy List!! He sat on a branch perfectly pooled in a little light and he was singing his little heart out. I crept closer and closer and got some amazing photos.


There were also various more common mountain birds, birds that I don't really get to see in LALA land like the Mountain Bluebird. I found both the male and female feeding in a clearing and I was hoping that they had a nest full of chicks or some fledglings I could find but I didn't see them go off at all. Either they lost their babies this year to predation or their babies had already left the nest. They are such a pretty bird with their blue and their rust markings.


I also spotted several birds foraging on the ground. They didn't have the look of an adult so I scoured my book looking at the juveniles. I thought it may be a juvie Junco but I wasn't 100% sure. Now that I have nerdy birdie friends though I can just email them. I send Mrs. Owlbait a photo and sure enough it was confirmed that this little guy is a juvenile Dark Eyed Junco. Such a cute little baby.


Another new bird found was a tiny little Red Breasted Nuthatch. It is not a great photo however at least the bird is easily identifiable as the Red Breasted Nuthatch. He/She would not come down from the tippy tops of the trees and it was frustrating. Still it was a new bird to cross off the Nerdy Birdy list… hurrah!


Not every bird is something new or exciting. While waiting in a park I spotted a Raven panting in the heat. He looked about as miserable and hot as I felt. Poor little guy doesn't have air conditioning. I have to constantly remind myself not to ignore the birds I see all the time. My skill level improves dramatically every six months and I find myself wanting to update the photos on the Nerdy Birdy List to reflect the best of the best.


I was surrounded by Sequoia trees but not the giants that made this forest famous. I would have loved to go to visit the super large Sequoia trees but I had limited time. I promised Mr. Rogue I would be back at a reasonable time tonight so we could spend time together and the trees would have taken me 3 hours out of my way. I will have to visit again sometime soon to see these gorgeous gigantic trees.


On the way out of the valley I stopped at a lookout point. Lake Isabella is also something I would have enjoyed exploring a little further, perhaps even rented a boat and gone sailing. Alas there is never enough time to do everything. At least it was a beautiful vista.




Amy said...

Oooo...love the picture of the tree bark with moss. I think that might be inspiration for a painting!

paul peggy zeus said...

I didn't know what a juvenille dark eyed junco looked like. THANKS!!

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