California & Arizona
2nd June 1984 - 18th June 1984
Leading a small group of 4 people on an Ibis Tours birdwatching holiday, starting at San Francisco Airport we drove to Monterey, on the way seeing lots of Brewer's Blackbirds, 2 White-tailed Kites, Mourning Doves, American Crows, Barn and Cliff Swallows and a Western Bluebird. New species for me will be in bold.
From our hotel in the centre of Monterey it was a short walk to El Estero Pool, where we saw 5 California Scrub-Jays (split twice since seeing them), Starlings, Brewer's Blackbirds, 3 Violet-green Swallows, Barn and Cliff Swallows, 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, 5 American Coot, 4 Mallard, lots of Western Gulls, 2 Song Sparrows, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 3 Ruddy Ducks, American Crows and a Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco.
We continued to Fisherman's Wharf where there were more Western Gulls, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Northern Divers, 2 Killdeers, a Sea Otter and a California Sea Lion.
Later, a drive to Point Lobos where we saw 14 California Ground Squirrels, White-crowned Sparrows everywhere, Song Sparrows, 7 California Scrub-Jays, 2 Anna's Hummingbirds, Violet-green and Cliff Swallows, a Western Gray Squirrel, 15 Black Oystercatchers, 32 Sea Otters, several Western Gulls, 4 Pigeon Guillemots, lots of Pelagic Cormorants, even more Brandt's Cormorants, a Night Heron, 50+ California Sea Lions, 2 Heermann's Gulls, 2 Red-throated Divers, a Guillemot, 5 White-throated Swifts, 2 Brown Creepers, 2 Brush Rabbits, 2 Herring Gulls, a Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, 6 American Goldfinches, a Brown Pelican, a White-winged Scoter, at least 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 Pygmy Nuthatches, 5 Mourning Doves, 2 Chestnut-backed Chickadees, a House Finch, 2 Harbor or Common Seals and 2 American Robins.
California Ground Squirrel.
Overnight in Monterey, an earlier start, again at El Estero Pool seeing Violet-green, Barn, Cliff and N. Rough-winged Swallows, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 12 American Coot, 14+ Mallard, Western Gulls, 2 Song Sparrows, Brewer's Blackbirds, 5 California Scrub-Jays, 3 Mourning Doves, 15+ Red-winged Blackbirds, 2 Dark-eyed (Oregon) Juncos, a Pine Siskin, a Botta's Pocket Gopher, 5 House Finches, 2 Pygmy Nuthatches, a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, a Ruddy Duck and 2 Anna's Hummingbirds.
Then a walk to Fisherman's Wharf where we saw 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Pigeon Guillemots, a Black Scoter, 41 California Sea Lions, 3 Sea Otters, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Pelagic Cormorants, a Western Grebe, a Brown Pelican and a Harbor Seal.
Back at the Monterey Hotel there were 2 more California Scrub-Jays and another 2 Anna's Hummingbirds.
Later a drive south to Big Sur, stopping at various points on the way seeing 5 Red-tailed Hawks, masses of Guillemots, several Pigeon Guillemots, 2 Glaucous-winged Gulls, 10+ California Gulls, 30+ Ring-billed Gulls, 2 Caspian Terns and 2 Turkey Vultures.
On a walk through the Pines and Redwoods at Big Sur we saw 21 Steller's Jays, 5 Brown Creepers, 9 Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 6+ California Ground Squirrels, 6 Acorn Woodpeckers, 12 Bushtits, 2 Western Fence Lizards, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Western Flycatcher, 2 American Dippers, a Belted Kingfisher, a Warbling Vireo, 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, 4 Turkey Vultures, 20+ White-throated Swifts, 3 Western Gray Squirrels, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, an Anna's Hummingbird and a California Kingsnake.
Leaving Monterey we drove about 20 miles north to Moss Landing, where we saw 3 Great Egrets, 17 Black-necked Stilts, American Coots, c61 Marbled Godwits, Western Gulls, 26 Western Willets (recent split), 15 Caspian Terns, 10 Grey Plovers, Herring Gulls, 35 Brown Pelicans, lots of Red-winged Blackbirds and a few Brewer's, 3 Ring-billed Gulls, 2 Turkey Vultures, 10 Sea Otters, 8 White-winged Scoters, a Heermann's Gull, 20 Surf Scoters, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Blue Herons, 10 Snowy Egrets, 4 Bonaparte's Gulls, 6 American Avocets, a Great Northern Diver, 55+ Forster's Terns, 4 Western Grebes and 26 Harbor or Common Seals.
Later, we continued to San Francisco Airport for a flight to Tucson, Arizona.
Overnight at a hotel in Tucson, in the morning a look around the hotel grounds produced 2 Gila Woodpeckers, 2 Cactus Wrens, a Mourning Dove, House Finches and Barn Swallows, 2 Northern Mockingbirds, 2 Brown-crested Flycatchers and a White-winged Dove.
The rest of the day was spent in the area around the Desert Museum to the west, also visiting the museum, seeing lots of White-winged Doves, a Great-tailed Grackle, 5 Purple Martins, 29 Cactus Wrens, 20+ Gila Woodpeckers, 6 Brown-crested Flycatchers, 2 American Kestrels, 12 Gamble's Quails, 6 Pyrrhuloxias, 13 Verdins, 5 Desert Spiny Lizards, 7 Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, 9 Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 10 Curve-billed Thrashers, 4 Turkey Vultures, 4 Phainopeplas, 16 Harris's Antelope Squirrels,
7 Ash-throated Flycatchers, a White-throated Swift, a Chihuahuan Raven, 8 Canyon Towhees, 9 Inca Doves, 7 Hooded Orioles, 7 Bronzed Cowbirds, 4 Rock Squirrels, 4 Red-tailed Hawks, lots of House Finches, a Zebra-tailed Lizard, 4 Northern Cardinals, 3 Black-chinned Hummingbirds, a Western Whiptail, a Greater Earless Lizard, 2 Greater Roadrunners, 2 Gilded Flickers, 16+ Desert Cottontails, 2 Black-tailed Jack Rabbits, 2 Coyotes, lots of Mourning Doves, a Black-throated Sparrow, a Common Nighthawk and 2 Lesser Nighthawks.
Western Curve-billed Thrasher.
An early start for the drive south to Madera Canyon, leaving Tucson on Hwy 19 we made many stops at places of interest seeing 3 Northern Mockingbirds, 4 Phainopeplas, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 12 Turkey Vultures, 10 Chihuahuan Ravens, 20+ Gray-breasted Jays, 5 Painted Redstarts, 4 Yellow-eyed Juncos, 6 White-breasted Nuthatches, 6 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 10+ Black-chinned Hummingbirds, 6+ House Wrens, 20+ Acorn Woodpeckers,
4 Western Wood Pewees, 10+ Broad-billed Hummingbirds, lots of Bronzed Cowbirds, a Red-shafted Flicker, a Hermit Thrush, a Grace's Warbler, a Short-horned Lizard, a Brown Creeper, a Red-faced Warbler, 4 Black-throated Gray Warblers, an American Robin, 6 Bridled Titmouses, a female Elegant Trogon, 3 Rock Squirrels, 3 Arizona Gray Squirrels and 9 Eastern Cottontails.
Reaching Amado we headed east towards the canyon, again stopping along the way whenever we saw something of interest, we saw a Greater Roadrunner, 25+ Great-tailed Grackles, 2 Cassin's Kingbirds, a Western Kingbird, White-winged Doves, 2 Bell's Vireos, 2 Northern Cardinals, a Crissal Thrasher, a Hooded Oriole, a Brown-crested Flycatcher, 2 Black-throated Sparrows, a Lucy's Warbler, a female Varied Bunting and an Eastern Meadowlark.
At Madera Canyon we walked up the trail hoping for better views of Elegant Trogon, after a while we heard a shout from other birders, we had just missed a male flying across the track behind us! and, although we searched we couldn't find the bird. On the walk we saw many of the birds seen earlier in the day, also a Goshawk, 4 Dusky-capped Flycatchers, lots of House Finches, 4 Scott's Orioles, Mourning Doves, Brown-headed Cowbirds, a female Strickland's Woodpecker, 3 Magnificent Hummingbirds, an Anna's Hummingbird, 4 Bewick's Wrens, a Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, 2 Black Phoebes, 2 Thick-billed Kingbirds, an Ash-throated Flycatcher and towards evening 2 Mule or Black-tailed Deers, a Poorwill, 2 Elf Owls and we heard a Whiskered Screech Owl, it was in a bush by the car park, quite close, but we still couldn't see it. On the way back we saw 3 Lesser Nighthawks in Amado.
As we got to the outskirts of Tucson there was a huge bang and the windscreen frosted over, I braked, punched a hole in the windscreen and managed to pull the car over to the hard-shoulder. In the footwell was a large rock which had been thrown from a bridge as we passed under it. We were all alright, but a bit shaken, knocking out the rest of the glass I drove to the hotel and called the police. They were there within 10 minutes and telling them where it had happened, they seemed to know who was responsible.
I then spent most of the evening talking to the hire car company to get a replacement by the morning.
Photos: Short-horned Lizard and Thick-billed Kingbirds.
Just as the car hire company promised, the replacement car was delivered this morning, an upgrade to a Cadillac, luxury. We left Tucson a little later than hoped, but it gave a chance for a look around the hotel grounds seeing 2 Verdins and a Brown-crested Flycatcher.
We headed north to Phoenix, through Flagstaff and arrived at Tusayan, just south of the Grand Canyon, near dusk.
We made lots of stops on the long drive, seeing Turkey Vultures, lots of Ravens, a Cassin's Kingbird, Cliff Swallows, a Loggerhead Shrike, 2 American Kestrels, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, Great-tailed Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Violet-green Swallows, 3 Say's Phoebes, 5 Western Meadowlarks, 2 Killdeers, a Red-shafted Flicker, Starlings, an Olive-sided Flycatcher, 2 American Robins, Brewer's Blackbirds, 4 Pygmy Nuthatches, a Western Wood Pewee, a Brown Creeper, 2 Red-winged Blackbirds, 5 Western Bluebirds, an Arizona Gray Squirrel, a White-throated Swift, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and 6 Plain Titmouses.
From our hotel in Tusayan, we started by driving a few miles south to an area of Pinyon Pines, which it was too dark to explore by the time we got there yesterday.
We saw several Great-tailed Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Violet-green Swallows, 8 Western Bluebirds, 5 Gray-headed Juncos, 8 Spotted Towhees, lots of Pygmy Nuthatches, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, 9 Chipping Sparrows, 20 Pinyon Jays, 5 Red-shafted Flickers, 2 Summer Tanagers, 4 Ravens, 5 Lark Sparrows, 2 American Kestrels, a Prairie Falcon, 3 White-throated Swifts, a Say's Phoebe,
2 Mountain Chickadees, a Hairy Woodpecker, 2 Mourning Doves, 11 Lesser Goldfinches, 2 Cassin's Finches, 2 Mountain Bluebirds and
2 Steller's Jays.
In the afternoon we visited the Grand Canyon and explored areas along the rim, seeing 19 Crossbills, lots of Rock Squirrels, 8 Mountain Chickadees, 11 White-breasted Nuthatches, 5 Chipping Sparrows, 2 Plain Titmouses, 9 Cliff Chipmunks, 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 8 Ravens, 4 Turkey Vultures, 3 Steller's Jays, 2 Say's Phoebes, 9 Western Bluebirds, 2 Red-shafted Flickers, a Gray-headed Junco, an American Robin, an Abert's Squirrel, 2 Cassin's Finches, a Gray Fox, 12+ White-throated Swifts, a Red-tailed Hawk, 5 Common Tree Lizards, a Virginia's Warbler, 2 Black-throated Gray Warblers, a Pinyon Jay, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, 3 Bushtits, a Lesser Goldfinch and lots of Violet-green Swallows.
We watched the sun go down over the Grand Canyon changing the colours on the cliffs.
Male Mountain Bluebird.
Female Mountain Bluebird.
Evening sun on Grand Canyon.
An early start at the Grand Canyon, to walk down into the canyon along the Bright Angel Trail, a vertical mile down and out to the view point overlooking the Colorado River. We started from the rim at 7am in the cool of the morning, by the time we got to the base it was over 100 degrees as we stopped regularly to view the birds, mammals and reptiles. We reached the shade of Indian Gardens around midday, in time for lunch. Then a couple of us walked out, in the baking heat, to reach the view point overlooking the Colorado River, not seeing much, but the view was worth it. We returned to Indian Gardens for a rest and later began the long walk back to the rim, arriving at the top at 7pm.
During the walk we saw an Abert's Squirrel, a Western Bluebird, 6 Chipping Sparrows, 3 Mourning Doves, lots of Violet-green Swallows and White-throated Swifts, Brown-headed Cowbirds, 3 Steller's Jays, lots of Rock Squirrels and Cliff Chipmunks, 12 Spotted Towhees, 10 Virginia Warblers, 4 Ash-throated Flycatchers, 5 Canyon Wrens, 3 Black-throated Gray Warblers, 14 Rock Wrens, 21 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 3 Gray Foxes, 6 Rufous-crowned Sparrows, a Mountain Chickadee, 2 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 5 Turkey Vultures, 2 Pinyon Jays, 8 Ravens, an Audubon's Warbler now split from Yellow-rumped Warbler, 11 Cassin's Finches, an American Kestrel, 2 Scott's Orioles,
11 Black-throated Sparrows, 2 Western Whiptails, 2 Desert Spiny Lizards, 2 Collared Lizards, a Lazuli Bunting, 3 Yellow-breasted Chats, 2 Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, a Bewick's Wren, a Mule Deer,
4 Nuttall's Cottontails and 20+ California Myotis Bats.
Rock Squirrel, Grand Canyon.
Spotted Towhee, Grand Canyon.
Collared Lizard, Grand Canyon.
The way back up the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon.
Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon.
Indian Gardens, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon.
View over Colorado River, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon.
After the exertion of yesterday, not an early start, we began in the area near Tusayan seeing a Cassin's Finch, 4 Lesser Goldfinches, Violet-green Swallows, 3 Mountain Bluebirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Ravens, an American Kestrel, 2 Mourning Doves, a Purple Martin, a Hairy Woodpecker, 4 Red-shafted Flickers, a Western Wood Pewee,
20 Pinyon Jays, 2 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Bushtits, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatches, a Cassin's Vireo now split from Solitary, a Virginia's Warbler, a Western Meadowlark, 2 Summer Tanagers, Spotted Towhees, 6 Lark Sparrows, 2 Chipping Sparrows, 2 American Robins and 7 Western Bluebirds.
Later, we left Tusayan and drove west, along the way seeing 6 American Kestrels, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, Ravens, a Northern Mockingbird, Cliff Swallows, c80 Pinyon Jays, 6 Turkey Vultures, a Great Blue Heron, 3 Western Meadowlarks and 10 Pronghorns.
Reaching Lake Mead, we stopped to view the impressive Hoover Dam, then crossed into Nevada, drove through Las Vegas and west into California and on to Death Valley and our hotel in Furnace Creek.
Pronghorns in NW Arizona.
Lake Mead in NW Arizona.
Hoover Dam in NW Arizona.
An early start before it got too hot to be outside, we started at the golf course which is adjacent to the hotel, which had several pools and a small reservoir. Later, a tour around the valley with the air-conditioning turned up full!
During the day we saw 40+ Ravens, lots of Great-tailed Grackles, an American Robin, 13 Say's Phoebes, 3 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, 7 Night Herons, 15 American Coot, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 4 Mallard, Mourning Doves, 4 Swallows, a Western Meadowlark, a Red-winged Blackbird, 17 Lucy's Warblers, a Northern Mockingbird, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, lots of Brown-headed Cowbirds, 3 House Finches, a Western Kingbird, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Lazuli Buntings, 2 Killdeers, a Common Yellowthroat, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Ruddy Ducks, 3 American Avocets, 2 Gadwall, a Snowy Egret, a White-throated Swift and a Lesser Nighthawk.
An early look around the Furnace Creek golf course and pools, seeing 7 Say's Phoebes, 12 American Coot, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, Great-tailed Grackles, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Night Herons, Brown-headed Cowbirds, lots of Ravens, Mourning Doves, a Long-tailed Brush Lizard,
3 Greater Roadrunners, 3 Killdeers, 25 Lucy's Warblers, 3 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, a White-throated Swift, 3 Western Kingbirds, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Common Yellowthroat, a Barn Swallow, 4 Mallard, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, a Cinnamon Teal, 2 Gadwall, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Ruddy Ducks and 2 American Avocets.
After breakfast we departed for our drive north, along the way seeing a Red-tailed Hawk and a Black-throated Sparrow. We stopped at Owen's Lake where we saw 3 Zebra-tailed Lizards, a Round-tailed Ground Squirrel, a Desert Iguana, 2 Black-tailed Jack Rabbits, 2 Say's Phoebes, 2 American Kestrels and a Prairie Falcon.
A few miles north at the much smaller Diaz Lake there were 16 California Gulls and 2 Hooded Orioles. Then on the long drive north to Lee Vining, near Mono Lake, we saw 7 American Kestrels, a Western Meadowlark, a Red-shafted Flicker, a Northern Harrier, 2 Western Kingbirds, 2 Black-billed Magpies now a seperate species, at least 10 California Gulls and a Steller's Jay.
Zebra-tailed Lizard at Owen's Lake.
California Gull at Mono Lake.
An early start to look around the Lee Vining area, seeing 8 California Gulls, 8 House Wrens, a Violet-green Swallow, an American Kestrel, 2 Killdeers, 4 Green-tailed Towhees, 3 Lazuli Buntings, 3 Brown-headed Cowbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, a Spotted Towhee, 2 Say's Phoebes, 4 Steller's Jays, 6 American Robins, a Bullock's Oriole, a Western Gray Squirrel, 3 Western Tanagers, 2 Red-shafted Flickers, 2 Western Wood Pewees, a Cedar Waxwing and 3 American Goldfinches.
Then a drive west into Yosemite National Park entering the highest part of the park, where the road had only recently opened, we stopped at Ellery Lake seeing a Fox Sparrow and 10 Yellow-bellied Marmots. We continued through the park to Tuolumne Meadows where we spent sometime exploring these high altitude meadows seeing 8 Belding's Gound Squirrels, 2 White-crowned Sparrows, 4 Townsend's Chipmunks, 9 California Gulls, a Red-tailed Hawk, 5 American Robins, 6 Oregon Juncos, 2 Mule Deers, lots of Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, a Hermit Thrush, 3 Clark's Nutcrackers, 3 Steller's Jays, 2 Townsend's Solitaires, a Raven, a Hairy Woodpecker and an Audubon's Warbler.
Later, we drove through the park to our hotel in Fish Camp, south of Yosemite Valley.
Ellery Lake, Yosemite National Park.
Yellow-bellied Marmot at Ellery Lake, Yosemite National Park.
Yellow-bellied Marmot at Ellery Lake, Yosemite.
Belding's Ground Squirrel at Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite.
We started the day by exploring the area around Fish Camp, just in Yosemite National Park, seeing 12 Steller's Jays, a Hermit Warbler, 2 Red-shafted Flickers, a Yellow Warbler, 3 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 6 Fox Sparrows, Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Spotted Towhees, 3 Western Wood Pewees, Barn Swallows, 6 American Robins, a Mourning Dove, 2 Audubon's Warblers, 3 Orange-crowned Warblers, a Cassin's Finch, 7 Song Sparrows, a Townsend's Warbler, 2 Phainopeplas, 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers, 3 Oregon Juncos, a Brown Creeper, 2 Red-breasted Sapsuckers, a Nashville Warbler, a Western Tanager, 2 Lesser Goldfinches and a Mountain Chickadee.
Then we drove a few miles north and east to Mariposa Grove, the home of the huge Giant Sequoia trees, many of the largest having names, the only colour provided by Snow Plants which appear as the snow melts. Here we saw 21 Steller's Jays, 3 Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, a Hermit Warbler, 16 Oregon Juncos, 2 Song Sparrows, 6 American Robins, 4 Hammond's Flycatchers, a Western Tanager, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Hermit Thrushes, a Winter Wren now split, 5+ Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Brown Creepers, 2 Audubon's Warblers, a Lewis's Woodpecker and 2 Mountain Chickadees.
Later, we visited the Yosemite Valley to have a look around, a lot more people, not many birds, but we did see Brewer's and Red-winged Blackbirds and 5 Black-headed Grosbeaks.
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
The Dead Giant, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
Snow Plant, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
The Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
The Tunnel, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.
Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley.
Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Valley.
Again we started in areas around Fish Camp seeing 2 Yellow Warblers, 2 House Wrens, 2 Green-tailed Towhees, 5 Spotted Towhees, 6 Fox Sparrows, 14 Steller's Jays, 5 Orange-crowned Warblers, 2 Western Tanagers, 4 Black-headed Grosbeaks, a Brown Creeper, 6 Oregon Juncos, 4 Douglas's Squirrels, a Nashville Warbler, 4 American Robins, a White-headed Woodpecker, 2 Mourning Doves, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, 4 Song Sparrows, 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers, a Red-shafted Flicker, 3 MacGillvary's Warblers and 5 Mountain Chickadees.
Then a drive to Glacier Point overlooking Yosemite Valley where we saw 4 Mule Deers, a Douglas's Squirrel, a Townsend's Solitaire, lots of Mountain Chickadees, 19 Steller's Jays, a Red-shafted Flicker, a MacGillvary's Warbler, 8 Oregon Juncos, 9 Audubon's Warblers, Brown-headed Cowbirds, 3 Red-breasted Sapsuckers, 6 Ravens, 3 Western Tanagers, a White-headed Woodpecker, Brewer's Blackbirds,
15 California Ground Squirrels, 2 Western Fence Lizards, 2 White-throated Swifts, a Red-tailed Hawk, Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Hammond's Flycatcher, 8 Sagebrush Lizards and a Nashville
Later, we drove through the park visiting the high meadows again, seeing 4 California Gulls, a Clark's Nutcracker, a Yellow- bellied Marmot, 3 Townsend's Chipmunks and a Bullock's Oriole.
Back in Fish Camp, on an evening walk we saw a Wilson's Warbler, a Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 2 White-headed Woodpeckers and an American Dipper.
Steller's Jay at Glacier Point, Yosemite.
Sagebrush Lizard at Glacier Point, Yosemite.
Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.
Half Dome from Glacier Point.
Yellow-bellied Marmot in High Meadows.
Yellow-bellied Marmot in High Meadows.
While loading the car before leaving Fish Camp we saw 5 Townsend's Chipmunks. Then a long drive west on Highway 120 to Livermore in Alameda County stopping along the way. On the journey we saw a Belted Kingfisher, 6 American Kestrels, 11 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Acorn Woodpeckers, 7 Black-headed Grosbeaks and at Merced River there was a Sage Thrasher. We also saw Cliff and Violet-green Swallows, 5 California Scrub Jays, 9 Turkey Vultures, 2 Great Egrets, masses of Brown-headed Cowbirds and Brewer's Blackbirds, lots of Western Kingbirds, 3 Snowy Egrets, 2 Killdeers, 7 Yellow-billed Magpies, 2 Bullock's Orioles, a Hairy Woodpecker, 3 Black Phoebes, 3 Red-winged Blackbirds, a Spotted Sandpiper, lots of Mourning Doves, Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows and 14 Bushtits.
In Livermore we took the Mines Road south through open farmland, it was very hot, even the crickets were sheltering from the sun!
Although not the best time of day, along the road we saw 2 Northern Mockingbirds, 13 House Finches, 18 Western Bluebirds, a Mule Deer, a Western Meadowlark, a White-throated Swift, 2 Say's Phoebes, 4 Phainopeplas, 2 Loggerhead Shrikes, lots of California Ground Squirrels, 3 California Towhees, 32 Lesser Goldfinches, 3 Nuttall's Woodpeckers, 3 Rufous-crowned Sparrows, a White-tailed Kite, a Black-chinned Hummingbird, 5 California Quails, a Great Blue Heron and 2 California Thrashers.
Later, we continued to San Francisco.
Crickets sheltering from the sun.
Our last day, some went shopping, while a couple of us went birding, we travelled north to Drakes Bay where there were 50+ Great Egrets, 2 Great Blue Herons, 4 Snowy Egrets, lots of Western Gulls and Double-crested Cormorants, 2 Long-billed Curlews, 3 Night Herons, 2 American Robins, 15 Brown Pelicans, 40+ Harbor Seals, 2 American Avocets, 19 Western Willets and a Mallard.
We continued to Point Reyes seeing a Gray Fox, 2 California Quails, 3 Killdeers, lots of Song Sparrows, 3 California Towhees, Barn and Violet-green Swallows, a Western Bluebird, 5 California Scrub Jays, 6 American Goldfinches, 2 Allen's Hummingbirds, 3 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 12 Pine Siskins, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, Cliff Swallows, a Turkey Vulture, 13 Wrentits, 3 Spotted Towhees, a Red-winged Blackbird, 3 White-crowned Sparrows, 4 Mule Deers, a Red-shafted Flicker, a Black-chinned Sparrow, a Botta's Pocket Gopher, 2 Anna's Hummingbirds, 3 Wilson's Warblers, 3 Hermit Thrushes, a Purple Finch, a Western Gray Squirrel, a Western Wood Pewee, several House and Winter Wrens, Starlings, 6 American Crows, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds and Mourning Doves.