Valentine Lake Trail

Observers: Carl Lundblad
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 08/24/2008
Time: 11:47 PM -0400


Saturday I hiked to Valentine Lake above Mammoth Lakes from the Valentine Lake trailhead near the YMCA Camp off Sherwin Creek Road. The first part of the hike switchbacks through recently burned Jeffery Pine and mixed-conifer forest. This area looked very good for woodpeckers, but I encountered only Hairy and No. Flickers. At about 4 miles I heard drumming which I would have attributed to a Pileated Woodpecker and found some deep excavations on nearby trees which seemed like the work of pileated, but a brief search of e-bird records and other sources suggests that the species is seldom encountered this far south in the Sierra, so I don't know what to think. Birds I'm sure about in this area included a family group of Red-breasted Sapsuckers and a pair of PINE GROSBEAKS. About a quarter mile further uptrail, at a small sub-alpine pond, a juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWK flew by me at close range. I was surprised, though not disappointed, to see only one other group of 2 hikers on the entire trip, just a few miles out of town. Carl Lundblad Amargosa Valley, NV