Picking up where Martin left off on Saturday, Dennis and I also saw the Lewis’s Woodpecker and the “southern” NV junco at Miller’s Rest Stop along with continuing flickers, a Sage Thrasher, some yellow-rumps and lots of White-crowned Sparrows at the cemetery before the daylight waned on Saturday.
On Sunday, we started off with a quick trip to Tonopah’s sewer ponds and found one American Avocet, an Eared Grebe, a teal and a conservative 200 House Finches - the most we’d ever seen in one place. The rest of the usual stops in Tonopah were quiet on a cold very windy morning. We drove to Fish Lake Valley and stopped at Leidy Creek in hopes of seeing the Blackburnian Warbler - no such luck, but we thought we’d check later when it was warmer and less windy. At Circle L, Yellow-rumped Warblers and robins were covering part of the backyard and we saw one of the Wilson’s Snipes along a flooded ditch in the orchard. We then checked Sage Hen row which was quiet. We found a Townsend’s Solitaire, robins, tanagers, lots of flickers, some White-crowned and Lincoln’s Sparrows at the Abandoned Ranch. We were unable to get good looks at an interesting sparrow with red shoulders and a juvenile sapsucker, so we decided to try Dyer Pond and were happy to see it filled from the mostly mud-flat condition of last weekend. The ducks took flight, but we were able to see several Wood Ducks, American Wigeon, Cinnamon Teal, and grebes, along with a Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Spotted Towhee, Black Phoebe, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Back at Abandoned Ranch, a bright Lewis’s Woodpecker first caught our eyes. The rest of the cast of characters remained, especially in the orchard where apples were still attracting flickers, robins, House Finches. When we checked out a loud whistle call, we found it belonged to a Evening Grosbeak who must like apples, too.
Back at Circle L, we found the large flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers had dispersed to the orchard and then on the front lawn catching Millers. One warbler with a bright yellow rump caught our eye since it was obviously not a Yellow-Rump. It had a gray head, bright white eye ring, white wingbars, yellow underparts with light streaks, and white undertail coverts…and, it was flying all about the ranch porch, checking out the doorway, windows, the rafters and the flowerbeds - a beautiful Magnolia Warbler was our ID. The two Wilson’s Snipes were flying about the orchard and ranchhouse area, adding to the fun.
Back at Leidy Creek, the leaky pipes attracted several White-crowned Sparrows and one bright adult White-throated Sparrow (not the tan variety). Arlemont was quiet, but two Red-naped Sapsuckers, one adult and one juve, were in the large cottonwood trees.
Richard Aracil made it over from Tonopah and told us he was able to re-find the Evening Grosbeak and Magnolia Warbler.
The winds died down and the fall day turned sunny and warm in Fish Lake Valley, with falling golden leaves in the valley and golden aspen stands in the snow-dusted White Mountains.