Crystal Spring Black-throated Blue Warbler

Observers: John Green, Steve and Vesta Myers, Bill Deppe
Remote Name:
Date: 10/16/2004
Time: 10:01 PM


Hi Eastern Sierra birders. This report was written for the Southeastern CA RBA, but contains Inyo County sightings as well: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY The 16th, Steve and Vesta Myers, Bill Deppe, and John Green birded the east Mojave and ventured into INYO COUNTY as well, tallying about 75 species. At remote Crystal Spring near the Inyo-San Bernardino County line, we had a male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, literally on the county line. It was probably in Inyo when found, and in San Bernardino County when last seen. A female WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER was in the same area, spending most of its time in Inyo, but possibly wandering onto a San Bernardino County branch. A TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER, and “PINK-SIDED” DARK-EYED JUNCO were there as well. Twelve species of sparrow on the day included a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW at China Ranch in Inyo County. A difficult warbler was there as well, that we believe to be a PINE WARBLER, but we are analyzing photos and video for a final verdict. At Horse Thief Springs in San Bernardino County, we had two TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRES, a PURPLE FINCH, several GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, FOX SPARROW, “SLATE-COLORED” DARK-EYED JUNCO, several RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a late WARBLING VIREO. CHUKAR hunters were out in force, but a few live birds were still around the spring. PINE SISKINS were seen in several locations. At the Desert Studies Center on Zzyzx Road, a WOOD DUCK continued, another Red-breasted Nuthatch was seen, and a “YELLOW-SHAFTED” type FLICKER was seen in flight, potentially a GILDED. Horse Thief Springs is reached by taking the Cima exit from Interstate 15, and going north for 28 miles (on Kingston Road, then Excelsior Mine Road. Look for the cottonwoods. To get to Crystal Spring, continue west on the rough Smith Talc Road for about 4 miles. The unmarked spring is north of the road at an apparently abandoned settlement. GPS coordinates: UTM 11 593815E 3961564N (WGS84/NAD83) USGS HORSE THIEF SPRINGS Quad. DeLorme Southern and Central California Atlas page 56 B2. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE A DELORME, OR SIMILAR MAP WHICH HAS THESE LOCATIONS ON IT, AND THAT YOU TAKE A HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE. Continue west on Smith-Talc Road to Mesquite Valley Road west to Furnace Creek Road west to China Ranch Road south to China Ranch. Return to Furnace Creek Road, and you can return to Interstate 15 the same way, OR head west on Furnace Creek to Tecopa, then west on Old Spanish Gentry Road to Highway 127. Take 127 south to Interstate 15 in Baker. To get to the California Desert Studies Center, take the Zzyzx exit, which is south of Baker on Interstate 15, and head southeast to the center.