Wednesday, April 27, 2005

27th April - Snow stops play

I started off this morning at Hurkey Creek Campground where 4 Pygmy Nuthatches were new. I also found a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks and a good variety of other species. Nearby at Lake Hemet there were 7 more Pygmy Nuthatches and a White-headed Woodpecker.

A dozen Band-tailed Pigeons were in Idyllwild where we had breakfast before heading back north. Along the way we found my first American Robin of the trip, a species which was to prove quite common in mountainous forest further north, and a superb Black-throated Gray Warbler.

After a long drive we ended up at Mount Pinos where we had planned to spend our third and final night of camping. The ominous “chains required” signs were our first clue that not everything might go according to plan. We reached the campsite without chains, but camping there was out of the question as the whole place was still covered in thick snow!

When snow began to fall, we decided we’d better get back down the steep mountain road before we couldn't! However this was not before getting a chance to see a few birds: a variety of woodpeckers included my first Northern Flicker, and a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow was also found. Best bird was a Green-tailed Towhee – possibly my favourite bird of the whole trip.



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