Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Camping Weekend Bird Report

California Towhee
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
What a great weekend for birding! I didn't get enough of it -- of course -- but still, it was so great. We were camped at a reservoir in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The river was dammed and has backed up to fill many, many valleys and canyons with water. We were camped on the top of a hill that juts out into the water. It is oak tree country and grassy. Utterly beautiful. I took as many pictures as I could but the light was not great and my skills are not great and so many did not turn out. Mostly, they were just so that when I washed them out and zoomed in, I could see enough detail to ID the bird. I did get a bunch of life birds but I haven't entered them into eBird yet to see how many I got.

This California Towhee posed beautifully for me in this bramble at Columbia, California -- an historic Gold Country town that has become a State Historic Park while still being a real town. Very cool. And, we bought great homemade chocolate there so . . . it's well worth a stop!

Here's a brief bird list:

California Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Oak Titmouse
Acorn Woodpecker
Hairy/Downy Woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
Western Bluebird *
Northern Flicker *
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Phainopepla *
Canada Geese
Turkey Vulture
White-breasted Nuthatch
Wild Turkey
Hawks of many varieties
Immature Bald Eagle

Here are a few of the photos I got that I was pleased with . . .

Northern Flicker

So, while I could have wished for better light all weekend, I can't complain about the birds I saw. Greg heard an owl in the middle of the night but it stopped hooting as he rolled over to wake me up.

Oh, and other wildlife . . . I saw three Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and a Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) and we all saw a Bobcat (Lynx rufus)!


Mary said...

What do you mean to say your skills aren't that good? Your photos are always wonderful, Liza! That bluebird photo is really stunning with the muted mountains in the backgroud. Wow.

What a great trip - time with the family, and lots of birds and lifers. Glad you are back! Thanks for the tour.

Lynne said...

YOU SAW A BOBCAT?!?? I'm sooo jealous.
I saw your flickr on flickr yesterday!
That turkey vulture pic is fabulous.
I love the moss/lichens on the TV and nuthatch pix.
I saw a western bluebird once in the Black Hills- lovely, lovely bird.
I've never seen a towhee- of any variety!
I really, really miss camping. Thanks for letting me see your trip!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Well, Mary, I mean that I took 335 pictures and MOST of them made me very glad it was digital and not film that I had to pay to have developed and printed! :) I'm still learning and I have a lot to learn! That's all!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Lynn, we could not believe the Bobcat sighting. So amazingly cool! I'll post about it as I finish out the trip reports!

robin andrea said...

Those are great pics, liza. I love that western bluebird.

The very first time I saw a bobcat was at UC Santa Cruz, when I was at work and looking out my window. I was in a building that was on the edge of the great meadow. I started to see bobcats a few times a year. It was always an amazing delight. When we moved to Washington, one of the things that saddened me the most was thinking that I wouldn't see bobcats again. So, imagine our surprise when we started to see them IN OUR YARD. We've seen them several times. We took the best photographs of one last Feb. 15, so you know I'm going to be on the lookout the next couple of days.

Here's a link to the pics:
I guess you can tell I'm a big fan of bobcats.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Wow! I didn't know that we had them in "our" neck of the woods. It was amazingly gorgeous and soooooo curious about us.

Susan Gets Native said...

Lovin' it, Liza!
The way we are all going on about our photos, we will all be pros someday!
Nice birds!

LauraHinNJ said...

Sounds like a great trip with lots of great birds!

sarala said...

Great photos.