Reno birds wrap up

Here are the last of the bird images nearly worth looking at from my recent trip to Reno, Nevada. They are not in any particular order.

Yes, it is a magpie but an American Magpie. They sound quite different from the Eurasian Magpie and are roughly a foot bigger. Part of that sentance may not be entirely truthful.

The last time I saw Swainson’s Hawk was about 15 years ago so, when I saw these crossing the highway as I approached Fallon naturally I stopped the car for photos, isn’t ABS wonderful, especially for those behind me!

A Snowy Egret in non-breeding plumage, quite topical given that we have a Little Egret that looks not so different to this bird, except for the legs and lores that is.

It is always nice when a Sora ambles past.

Spotted Towhee, a common bird thereabout.

The best I could manage of a Black-headed Grosbeak, very smart in summer plumage.

American White Pelicans shadow fishing on Lake Washoe. They form a dense flock then dive on the fish that come to the shelter of the shadow.

The hummers tear around like little bullets so when I heard that there was a place that served breakfast and had feeders I was sold. This is a Calliope, note the square tail on the flight shot and the wings extending beyond the tail when perched. There was a full summer male around too but he kept getting beat up by the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds also present but not worth looking at, only joking.

A Golden Eagle that glided past. I couldn’t get it any closer by pishing, it never seems to work for me!

Brewer’s Blackbird, here in the east we have the Rusty Blackbird so it was good to see the confusion species well.

Western interior race of Horned Lark.

The valley between Reno and the Sierras is full of Red-tailed Hawks.

This dark form Red-tail was at Stillwater.

A small number of the Wilson’s Phalaropes at Stillwater. Strangely, not 30 miles west, another lake had 300 Red-necked Phalaropes and I very nearly got there, bottling it on the sandy track and not really knowing where I was going.

Everywhere moist – White-faced Ibis.

I found a nice place to bird just south of Reno, the Damonte Ranch Park. It has a long cycle track all the way around and has some open water and a large reedbed. The Northern Harriers obviously breed there and this one went off to hunt the local gardens!

At one end of the park is a large open water area and you cut through an underpass to get there. On the light fitting a pair of Say’s Phoebes had a nest with young, the also have a neighbour who is perhaps not what you want to come calling.

Cassin’s Finch – common in the area. I think he peaked witht he murrelt myself.

Lots of White-crowned Sparrows up on the fragile alpine Tahoe Meadows dodging the local dogs which are supposed to be on lead but their owners just have S@it for brains, I know, I spoke to some  of them. Oh, and not one had a bag with them to clean up after they had emptied their dogs (plural, always plural).


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