Observer: John B. Free (Woodyard)
Location: Bald Mountain (11,620'), Great Basin National Park, NV
Weather: Very Smokey, Partly Clouds, calm to gentle breezes, Visibility 20 miles.
I have been doing a study on Bald Mt. this summer (July-Aug 5) Once a week I have been climbing up to Bald and observing whatever birds I see in a 450 meter sq grid spread over the summit and sides of the summit.
On this date I confirmed successful breeding of an American pipit: Adult displaying distraction behavior and calls to protect an immature fledgling nearby.
There were several other pairs of pipits flying about feeding on the tundra and rocks; about 15 in all.
I observed big flocks of Chipping sparrows (30 or 40) feeding all over the N/W slopes. Often swirling around up and over the summit and back.
There were also small flocks of 5 or 6 Cassin's finches (a male/female and immatures)
Last week( 7/22) I observed big flocks of Pine Siskins (15-20) feeding on snow fields (now gone) and pairs of Black rosy-finches feeding on the snow and tundra.
I also observed Dark-eyed juncos (grey headed) flying around with the Black rosy-finches. On that week I also observed a Virginia's warbler feeding on the snow. Further, a Red-tailed hawk soared and circled over Bald Mt. Summit.
This study is a replication of the "Dean Medin" study done in 1980-1983. Bruce Welch of Desert Reseach, Shrub division, Provo, UT is in charge of the study and will be writing it up for publication this Fall/Winter. I will be sending raw data to the GBBO upon completion.