I had estimated about a 4-5 hour drive up to Lake Tahoe and it turned out to be almost exactly 5 hours which included quite a number of stops. I’m sure from those who have followed the blog most would correctly assume that I am mainly a birder but because I covered such a good chunk of Northern California I ended up seeing many nice Mammals too.
This Coyote was a pleasant surprise as I was headed up California 395. I also stopped and birded a little as there seemed to always be a Hawk on the wires and during one of those stops I noticed this Black-billed Magpie (L). From what I had read these guys were supposed to be much easier to find than their cousin the Yellow-billed but this was the only one I would see the entire trip!
I ended up around Lake Tahoe at around 7:45 PM and just had time to take a few shots of the lake. My intention was to bird around the lake, but that would have to wait till morning … and boy what a wonderful morning it turned out to be!
Like all good birders I was up at the crack of dawn and again it was quite chilly with a little frost on some of the shadier areas. I had read that there was good birding areas near the Homewood Ski Area so I started my search along San Souci Terrace just North of the Resort. The Madden Creek runs fairly close to the road here and I thought I might look here for Dipper’s and anything else that was about.
I think that the American Dipper is one of the America’s coolest birds. It spends its time feeding in fast-moving creeks and rivers with a good part of time with its head stuck under the water. They will actually swim under the ice and water looking for food and there are some really cool videos on YouTube.
Some of the other great birds I found along this creek and adjacent field included Pine, Yellow-rump, Yellow and Nashville Warblers, Fox Sparrow (L), House Wren, Mountain Chickadee some unidentified Quail that scared the crap out of me and a couple of Flycatchers.
I spent a few more hours around the lake and surrounding areas and sometime after lunch headed North towards my next destination … Lassen Volcanic National Park!
Thanks for following my adventure!!!