We camped at a place that was a little shady, especially with the Black Widow spiders that were crawling around our tents, but we survived. On our first day of birding, we started at the Kern River Preserve.
As soon as we stepped out of the car, the valley birds greeted us. Nuttall's Woodpeckers were seemingly everywhere. I believe this is a young bird with the red near the front of the crown. Ladder-backed is ruled out by the solid black upper back (and range).
I have never visited the trail without seeing White-headed Woodpeckers. This time was no different, and we even found two nests right along the path.
|Red-breasted Sapsucker (southern form)|
We had dinner at the Kern River Brewery in Kernville with my former boss and a few friends before calling it a night.
In the morning, on our last full day, going on a tip from my former boss, we looked for Tricolored Blackbirds. We finally found a flock of blackbirds that all appeared to be Red-winged at first. We strolled around, keeping a close eye on the foraging blackbirds. Finally, we got on a Tricolored in flight. Then another. Finally, one landed and started calling a strange, raspy call.
On Monday (6/17), we only had a half day to hang around. Instead of birding, we slept in and then went tubing down the Kern River. It was a relaxing float with a few rapids thrown in. It reminded me of how much I love being on the water. We made the 5 hour drive back to Hawthorne, Nevada to get ready for surveys the next day.
The surveys went well, on a private military mountain that is very well maintained. I even added two more photo birds; Say's Phoebe and Chukar. Chukar usually stay high on the rocky cliffs, but this time they had young.
|A mother Chukar|
I have a few more days off coming up at the end of the month and Kevin and I are planning a trip to the California coast. I might end up with a lifer if I'm not careful...