From: Chris Howard and Rosie Beach
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Time: 09:22 AM
Yesterday, 4 August, we hiked from Mahogany Flat campground to Telescope Peak...the highest peak in the Panamint Range overlooking Death Valley. A "Western" Flycatcher called twice at the campground...we suppose it was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Most of the hike was generally birdless, except for a male Black-headed Grosbeak and "Oregon" Dark-eyed Juncos in the pinyons and Sage Sparrows in the upper meadows. The bulk of the bird activity was 100 ft below the 11,100 ft summit in a large Wild Current covered slope. There were nearly a dozen adult and young Mountain Bluebirds and Townsend's Solitaires gorging on the currents. (Rosie said they didn't taste bad either.) Other birds up high were Rock Wrens, Chipping Sparrows (adults losing their rufous crowns), White-throated Swifts. Also near the summit was our first Orange-crowned Warbler fall migrant, a bright lutescens race which breeds as close as the west slope of the Sierra. In "Warblers" by Garrett and Dunn, adult lutescens race are known to depart the breeding grounds fairly early and can be found well away from breeding locations by late July, so we guess this bird is right on schedule. If considering this hike...try June for better wildflowers.