Birding Hotspots: Diaz Lake
Diaz Lake County Park is a conveniently located birding spot right along Highway 395 three miles south of Lone Pine. It offers the best birding during the fall, winter and spring with several habitats including open resting and feeding water, cattail and tule margins, riparian willow/cottonwood along the south end especially, irrigated pasture and desert scrub.
Each of these habitats provides its own specialty birds. The open water shelters all species of waterfowl from winter ducks to breeding plumage loons in spring (even a Magnificent Frigatebird one year!). The tules are home to booming American Bitterns in the spring and are decorated with Yellow-headed Blackbirds nesting there also. Make sure to check out the tules at the north end of the lake. Access is from the campground on the west side of the lake. At the southern end of the lake, a walk along the road passing the large willows and cottonwood can yield Red-Shouldered Hawk and many species of songbirds (in the spring particularly). Scanning the desert scrub and irrigated pasture during your visit can add more species to your visit list.
So when you are traveling north or south along Highway 395 stop for a stretch and do some birding at Diaz Lake. You will be rewarded with many and varied species of birds and spectacular views of the Alabama Hills, the Sierra and the Inyo Mountains.