Yesterday afternoon/evening (Saturday, April 6th), Diane McAllister (who is an AMAZING wildlife and nature photographer) and I drove along Brunswick Canyon Road to Sunrise Pass Road to Eldorado Canyon Road up in the Pine Nut Mountains just east of Carson City. This is the same route on which I reported on March 30th. On our way up along Brunswick Canyon Road, we observed 26 Red Crossbills, 5 Evening Grosbeaks, and several Cassin's Finches in a tree at Badger Spring. The Red Crossbills were a sight as there were mostly adult males and the red color really stood out. Along Brunswick Canyon Road, we also saw 30 Common Ravens and 1 Mountain Quail on the way up, and a total of 5 Common Poorwills on the way back at night.
In the same area near Eldorado Canyon on which I previously reported, we observed the following birds:
Varied Thrush-at least 10, with 8 observed in a couple of trees at the same time
Northern Pygmy Owl-as we were observing/counting the Varied Thrushes, I turned around and saw this Owl on the end of a branch right by us. I whistled and It flew over near us and gave us great views as it was tooting away.
Northern Goshawk-we observed 2 circling overhead and at one point, they quickly clasped talons.
Mountain Quail-when we arrived in the area at about 3:30 PM, the Quail were very active as we saw at least 6 and heard another 4 or so calling.
Red-Breasted Nuthatch-a total of about 40
Red Crossbill-we had close looks at one perched on top of a limb and heard another 3 or 4
Long-Eared Owl-I had a quick glimpse of what appeared to be this Owl in the same area where I saw one last week
Steller's Jay-about 12 total
Western Scrub Jay
Bushtit-3 or 4
Cassin's Finch-saw a few, heard several
Earlier in the day, I stopped by Deadman's Creek Trail off of Eastlake Blvd. where I saw/heard 5 Rock Wrens, a Lincoln's Sparrow, a Kestrel, a Western Meadowlark, a Red-Tailed Hawk, and a Black-Billed Magpie. After pretty much giving up trying to find a Long-Eared Owl in the willows, I was lightly pishing to get the Lincoln's Sparrow to pop up when I heard a noise in the willows and turned around to see a Long-Eared Owl land in the willows, looking at me inquisitively.
This evening (Sunday, Apr. 7th), I braved the wind to hike at Carson River Park/Silver Saddle Ranch where the highlights were as follows:
Pinyon Jay-about 100 total
Wood Duck-3 pairs
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow-12
Great-Horned Owl on nest
Links to some documentation photos are as follows:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tecumseh517/8630088604/in/photostream (Northern Pygmy Owl)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tecumseh517/8629006381/in/photostream (Red Crossbill)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tecumseh517/8630101260/in/photostream (Common Poorwill)
Access to Brunswick Canyon Road is at the end of Sedge Road which is off of Deer Run Road just east of Carson City. A high-clearance vehicle is needed and stretches of the road are pretty rocky/bumpy. The parking lot for Carson River Park/Silver Saddle Ranch is off of Carson River Road just before the bridge that crosses over the Carson River. If anyone would like information on Diane's web site, please e-mail me privately.