2011 Northern California … Part 7

Donner's Pass ... What an incredible little park.  They have many interpative signs showing where the Donner party lived and unfortunately many died.

Donner’s Pass … What an incredible little park. They have many interpretive signs showing where the Donner party lived and unfortunately many died.

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.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

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.

White-faced Ibis

White-faced Ibis

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.

One of a millon scenic spots on my drive North!

One of a million scenic spots on my drive North!

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.

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Merganser Flotilla

Merganser Flotilla

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.

Western Grebe Family

Western Grebe Family

Western Grebes getting ready to dance!

Western Grebes getting ready to dance!

Momma with a couple of young ones!

Momma with a couple of young ones!

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!!

View of Lassen Volcanic Park

View of Lassen Volcanic Park

 

 

Advertisements

About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
This entry was posted in Birds, Mammals, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s