Yesterday we had 80mph wind which was a challenge to bird in! Not surprisingly yesterday was birding light and I didn’t see that much. Today the wind had dropped and so I headed south to Washoe Lake and the Franktown Road area, it was pretty good. The lake had five Eared Grebes, always a treat to see if you live out east. A little tour of Franktown Road turned up around 100 or more Evening Grosbeaks all feeding on the ground in a rather large garden. A short way along a wet field had a minimum of 350 American Robins, quite spectacular in its way. Just as I approached the highway to head into work two Bald Eagles flew over, an adult and a first year bird.
This evening I headed south again after work, pausing at Washoe where I added Band-tailed Pigeon to my growing Nevada trip list, then a Peregrine flew over – which was nice. My evening destination was Silver Saddle Ranch river trail to try to see one of the Western Screech Owls there. I was a bit late arriving due to the work thing and only had about 45 minutes of birding time but I still turned up three owls. The first was a Barn Owl, roosting in a split tree just right of the parking lot. At just the right spot for a Western Screech Owl, one was sat out watching the World go by, a little distant and in virtually nil light but no complaints. Back at the parking lot a Great Horned Owl seemed to be staking out the Barn Owl but soon flew off when I tried to creep up on it.
The weekend is hurtling towards us and I have pans for my last two full days of birding in Nevada, perhaps ever but who knows. Here are a few photos, bad owl shots, a Western Scrub Jay and an American Magpie. UK readers, of which there appear to be surprising few, might wonder what distinguishes American Magpie from the Ubiquitous version found throughout the UK, well, they sound very different, seem longed tailed and are, in the case of this bird, around 5,000 miles from the possibility of hybridising with anything similar!