Hi FolksI arrived in Las Vegas Sunday night, and was unable to go birding until Monday, after work. My employer insisted that I had to fly in from LA, instead of driving my own car, so I took the 106 bus to Floyd Lamb Park at the north end of town, where among the many birds my personal highlights were 2 Cackling Geese, a White-winged Dove (a little far north, isn't it?), Lucy's Warblers (and two Townsend's!), Lesser Nighthawks, and a flycatcher that I keep trying to turn into a Willow Flycatcher (I don't like the fact that it was out in the desert scrub, instead of hiding in the deep, green stuff). See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92222297@N07/
Tuesday through Thursday while I was at work 80 to 150 miles north of Las Vegas, my employer kindly held my binoculars and camera for me.
Up in Nye County, I stared at birds with my bare eyes, or identified them by call. All I saw up there were Ravens, House Finches, Say's Phoebes, one Black-throated Sparrow, and one Western Kingbird out in the middle of nowhere. Interestingly, there were extensive beautiful stretches of Joshua Tree forest, yet not a single Scott's Oriole.
When they gave me back my stuff on Thursday evening, I rented a car, and discovered that they snapped the strap of my Swarovskis, dropped, and broke 'em. While I was up on Mt Charleston, I had to cover the left lens with the palm of my hand, while squinting with my right eye, only. Fortunately, the Swarovski people in Connecticut are very nice. Mt Charleston had multiple Cassin's Finches, and a Broad-tailed Hummingbird attacked my t-shirt covered with bird drawings. I stayed until dark, and despite stopping at 6 different locations from 7500 feet to 3000 feet, never heard any nightjars of any species. It was cold up there.
This morning, the best birds were at Corn Creek. No eastern vagrants, but the Bank Swallow (photos) was with N Rough-winged, Barn, Cliff, and Violet green Swallows. I enjoyed the Long eared Owl with a married couple of birders from England. Also noteworthy was a MacGillivray's Warbler.
Everywhere I went I saw oodles and oodles of Western Tanagers and Wilson's Warblers, and I missed Crissal Thrasher everywhere. Had I known that my flight would leave 1 hour late, tonight, I would have swung by Sunset Park, and gotten Crissals there.
Thomas Geza Miko,
B.Sc. Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation & Lab Safety
653 S. Indian Hill Blvd., unit C
Claremont, CA 91711