The drive from the Lake Tahoe area to Lassen Volcanic National Park is again one where everywhere you look it’s just incredible beauty. I literally could have stopped a hundred times at different vistas but I did want to cover some ground today so I ended up stopping only twice. Once for a couple of hours at Donners Pass Park and later in the day at Lake Almanor.
Even though it was after lunch the Donner Pass Park had a few birds around including Canadian Geese, Common Nighthawks, Chipping Sparrows and a few Ducks on the lake. Traveling North on California 89 I traveled through a few areas between mountain ranges that had many fields containing White-faced Ibis and many more Red-tailed hawks.
The further North I went the more mountainous it was becoming. For quite a few miles the road followed a river as it came down off the higher elevations. I saw quite a few American Dippers as I stopped but few other birds … might have been the time of day as it seemed like it would normally have been a birdie area.
Lake Almanor is a huge lake and I was hopeful that by exploring around the perimeter I might run into a few new birds for the trip. At my first stop I ran into the only Ring-billed Gulls of the trip. While watching these guys feed I noticed a couple of Grebes way way far out in the lake. I broke my scope out and saw a pair of Western Grebes (L) and after realizing there was no way to get decent pictures of these guys from where I was I packed it up and headed to a new location around the North side of the lake.
The first birds I ran into at my next location were a group of Common Mergansers (L) that were at the end of a rock jetty. They were not to happy with my presence and I was happy to get at least one closer picture.
There were a few Western Grebes around also but most were too far away so I relocated once more and this time I found some that were a little closer … still to far but I did manage a few OK pictures.
It was difficult to pull myself away from Lake Almantor but I wanted to get to Lassen Volcanic park before dark and secure a place to sleep. I was told ay Yosemite that there should be no problem because Lassen is probably the best kept secret of all the National Parks and I have to admit the Park is AMAZING! It’s one of the few places I visited on my trip where I spent more than one night. I’ll sign off for today with one more picture. I took this when I was still 50 miles awa or so!!