Surprise Canyon Feb 23

Observers: Todd Vogel, et al
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 02/24/2008
Time: 07:23 PM -0500


After pulling tamarisk for a day six of us headed upstream from Chris Wicht Camp, Surprise Canyon, and found two Gnatcatchers (on the valley floor, in creosote -- suspect Blue-Gray but didn't get a good enough look to sort Blue-Gray from Black Tailed; but heard one say "Bzzzzzz" which is what I hear Blue-Grays say around the Bishop area), 55 Piņon Jays (mouth of canyon at 2,200'), Spotted Towhees, Flickers and a few other of the usual suspects. I suspect the birding is pretty good in the Canyon during March/April, things are just staring to get green there now. Elevations from the parking area to the end of the good riparian section span 3,000' to 5,800'. Lots of good habitat that is getting better each year as the stream recovers. One more trip to treat tamarisk and the canyon will be in the monitoring stage of tamarisk control. Hundreds of person days have been spent there dealing with tamarisk in the past three years. I'll shamelessly promote a Friends of the Inyo trip to do Tamarisk work (and bird, of course) March 28 - 30.