we enjoyed a cool, beautiful day hiking and birding the Marlette Lake (North Canyon) trail at Lake Tahoe which was in the 70's as Reno heated up to 90 degrees today. The trailhead is at Spooner Lake State Park. Birds were singing the entire 8-9 miles of the trail (about 1200 feet elevation gain).
A Wilson's Snipe was winnowing over the meadow at the beginning of the trail. Fox Sparrows sang the entire way. A Northern Goshawk circled us as we hiked some switchbacks through an aspen grove. I startled a Sooty Grouse from a meadow next to the trail into flying into the forest. We heard the singular "quark" of Mountain Quail well up into the canyon. A Williamson's Sapsucker did a fine job of preening on the trunk of a pine tree, giving us great views of its red throat, black back, yellow belly, white stripes on its head and wings and barred underparts. Pine Grosbeaks were singing part of their beautiful song near the sparkling blue Marlette Lake, with both males and females flying about.
We were seldom out of hearing of the calls of Olive-sided Flycatchers either pip-pip-pipping or asking for their 3 beers, Western Wood-pewees, Dusky Flycatchers, Warbling Vireos and Mountain Chickadees. An Osprey did a flyover. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Brown Creepers, Western Tanagers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Cassin's Finches, and two nuthatches added their notes to the chorus. A Calliope Hummingbird seemed interested in the blooming currant bushes. We also heard or saw many Stellar's Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, and American Robins and a few Song Sparrows, Northern Flickers, Cassin's Vireos, a cheerful House Wren, one or two MacGillivray's Warblers, and Green-tailed Towhees.