I decided to spend a day visiting 2 places I had never seen.
Railroad Valley WMA consists (in part) of a couple of very small ponds, and is
located just off of Hwy. 6 in northeastern Nye County. There were a handful of
migrating birds, but nothing really worth noting. Several Pronghorn antelope,
and who knew there were so many oil wells in Nevada?
Next I stopped at the Adams McGill reservoir at the Kirch WMA, which is also
located in Nye County off of Hwy. 318 (between Lund and Hiko). I wished I had a
boat, so that I could have seen more of the reservoir. The little that I saw
was from standing on the shore near the boat ramp. There was a calling
("singing???") American Bittern just a few feet away from the boat ramp, and a
nearby singing Common Yellowthroat. There were the usual assortment of
reservoir-type birds, ie Mallard, Redhead, Eared Grebe, Northern Pintail, Canada
Goose, Ruddy Duck, and American Coot. Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Marsh Wrens, Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets were located in the
cattails. Also on the water were both Wilson's and Red-necked Phalaropes, and
lots and lots of terns! I saw at least 3 pair of Caspian Terns, (including one
that delivered a fish to a mate) a couple of Forster's Terns, 1 Black Tern, and
several terns that were too far away to ID. But best of all, there were 8
Franklin's Gulls, which was a life bird for me. Even though they were flying
past me in fairly brisk winds, they were easy to tell apart from Bonaparte's
The next day I headed to the Upper Lake at Pahranagat NWR, which is located just
below Alamo off of Hwy. 93. The first thing I saw after setting up my scope
were 5 more Franklin Gulls. Whoo-hoo! These were much nicer to look at than
the ones at Kirch, because they were floating placidly on the lake. The birds
above and below the lake were pretty much as Martin had described them a few
days ago, although I didn't see any Myiarchus flycatchers (I don't know if that
was due to the wind, the accipiter that was present, or just me). I did manage
the best looks I have ever had at Yellow-breasted Chats, both below and above
the lake. At the end of the dam, I was admiring a Vermilion Flycatcher when I
saw 4 Sandhill Cranes lift off from a small meadow just south of the dam. Oh,
and there were 2 more Red-necked Phalaropes present, along with about 15
I thought about going to Meadow Valley Wash today, but I was worn out, so I
decided to come on home. On the way home, I stopped at the little reservoir
between Warm Springs and Rachel, because I always find something unusual there.
Today, it was a Common Loon and Green-tailed Towhee. By the way, last week I
was finding Green-tailed Towhees at 3 or 4 different locations in Ash Meadows.
The best birds of that trip were a pair of Hooded Orioles at Point of Rocks.
The male was truly spectacular to look at . Sorry I didn't write about that
trip, but I was having some e-mail issues last week.