Pine Grosbeaks (6+) and Band-tailed Pigeon at Minaret Vista parking area

Observers: Jon L. Dunn
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 07/12/2007
Time: 07:50 PM -0400


On 11 July between 0600-0700 I easily saw multiple Pine Grosbeaks - singles and a pair and then three together, at the Minaret Vista parking area. This is just before the forest service kiosk and then dropping into the canyon for the Devil's Postpile and other areas. The access is always open and there is no fee. The Pine Grosbeaks were calling frequently and there was some song too. They were all around the parking area periodically. The three together were briefly perched and then flew off to the south for some distance. A worn Sage Thrasher here in the morning (Madera County) looked totally out of place (at 9265'). When I returned late in the afternoon I saw a single adult male perhaps 150 yards east of the parking area. The county line (Madera/Mono)is literally only about 20-50' east of the parking area, so with patience you can get them for both counties. Also in the afternoon I saw a single adult Band-tailed Pigeon flying east to west over the pass (Mono County). I was hoping to see Black Swifts here as they nest below Rainbow Falls and hoped to see them in transit. While I saw swallows, there were no swifts. The location struck me as potentially a very good spot for migrants in the early mornings of late summer/early fall. Hopefully others can give it some coverage. It was very birdy in the morning and there seemed to be lots of stuff moving. JLD