For several evenings over the past week or so, there have been as many as 6 Great-Horned Owls (including 2 pairs for sure) along the hike at the referenced location starting at the parking lot and ending about a quarter mile upstream of the Mexican Dam. On some evenings, a Great Horned or two has been observed sitting in old nests from past years. Perhaps they are giving the nests a "test drive" so to speak before deciding which one(s) to use for nesting this year.
Last seen on January 1st, the Barn Owl returned to the cottonwood tree with the split in it in at some point last week. Over this past weekend while we were away, Bill Frey noted that there are now two Barn Owls in that location, and the pair have been observed the 3 evenings that we've been out this week (Tuesday through Thursday). This tree can be observed by standing in the handicapped parking spaces in the parking lot and looking at a 45 degree angle to the southeast. This tree is a large cottonwood where the top part of the trunk was broken off about 40 to 50 feet off the ground. There is a vertical split in that trunk through which the Barn Owl pair can be observed.
Also, a Western Screech Owl has been heard and/or seen about every other time that we were out over the past week or so. This past Tuesday, one was heard tooting after dark and was located sitting low on a branch providing great looks using a diffused light source. However, this evening was the first time this year that one was observed roosting in the cavity at the end of a broken off limb in a tree, which is the same location it was observed on many occasions at this time of year last year. This tree is about 1/2 mile from the parking lot and is about 60 feet off of the left side of the trail as you are hiking out. One should start looking for this tree after you cross through the second of two barb-wired "gates". The following link shows the owl in this tree from last year and should be helpful to those who may go looking for it.
The parking lot for the Carson River Park is accessed from Carson River Road just before it crosses over the Carson River in east Carson City.