California Thrasher & more at Sage Flat 2/22/03

Observers: Jim and Deb Parker
Email: jimndebby@qnet.com
Remote Name:
Date: 02/22/03
Time: 07:19:36 PM


Listen up, Amigos! It's time for us to make a CONFESSION. We got just plain sick and fed up with the lack of birds this winter up here in the northern Owens Valley. No ducks. No raptors. No sparrows. Not even a horned lark. We decided to take action and GO FIND SOME BIRDS. So we drove down to Sage Flat, across the highway from North Haiwee Reservoir. It was as beautiful a summer day as Inyo County ever has in winter and the scrub jays let us know that it was a really fun place to hang out. But that was about all we were seeing, until a flock of juncoes flew past us. We stopped and ran after them shouting "There goes a bird!" Then we began to notice a long, drawn-out bird song in the distance, a jumbled string of chortles, whistles, chirps, toots and chucks. Ten minutes of scanning the bushtops finally brought us a view of the elusive California Thrasher in all of his breeding-season glory. After we lost track of the first one, we drove 50 feet and spied another one. And then another? This last one was sitting up in a leafless black oak, singing his heart out and letting us set the scope up right under him for a perfect view of his warm light peach underpants. Oh, there were some other birds of note down there, including oak titmouse, California Towhee and a Lewis's woodpecker. Can we recommend this place highly enough? Think not.