Dennis and I took a hike up the Thomas Creek trail this morning up into the pine forests of the Carson Range, between Reno and Lake Tahoe. We encountered many spring migrants, including Cassin's Vireo, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Warbling Vireos, and one W. Wood-Pewee - no Olive-sided Flycatchers yet. American Robins abounded, singing, bringing food to nests, present everywhere. Also numerous were Red-breasted Sapsuckers.
The highpoint of the excursion occurred on the way back down the Dry Pond Trail, just before it joins the main Thomas Creek Tr. I stopped to watch chattering chickadees and other birds just off the trail. When Dennis arrived, he was able to sort out a very strange outline in the tree shadows of a small bird with a very long hairy tail into 2 critters, a Northern Pygmy Owl clutching his lunch of a chipmunk which was longer by far than the owl. Let me know (off-line) if you'd like to see a photo. The owl is just a bit larger than a House Sparrow and is a resident of these woods, but very hard to locate, except by accident. We have seen the owl in lower Thomas Creek on at least two Reno CBCs.
A fine sunny breezy day in paradise!