Oxbow Nature study area – nice

Today I felt like a change of pace. The signs had been coming for a while, I’ve been birding and working for 15 days straight now and there has been a gradual loss of steam. I also have a serious ear-worm, thank you Beach Boys! It all comes down to their homily to the Larophiles of the World, you know the song with the catchy line, “I wish they all could be California Gulls”. Well here they virtually all are and every time I see one, which can be nearly as often as I blink, that line sweeps though my mind.

So today I went to a little local Nature reserve in west Reno and it was quite charming apart from one piece of lousy planning regarding the trail that runs alongside the railway track and no entry back to the car park. The reserve is located along the banks of the Truckee River and is just a patch of marsh and scrub but it was pretty birdy.

The place heaves with California Quail, the scamper in front of you, they drop out of the trees around you and they burst from underfoot. There were also Hermit Thrushes, seven to be exact, and Red-shouldered Hawks and I got the chance to point the camera at Golden-crowned Sparrows, it was a good two hours of gentle birding.

As I was in that part of the World I decided to head to the Lemmon Valley area, checking out the water treatment lagoons and Swan Lake. Again the place was full of birds, 250+ American Avocets, 45 Eared Grebes, three Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitchers, and all of the ducks except the one I was looking for, Wood! I could go on but you get the picture. This took me around to 11:30, too early to declare so I decided to go and try for Clark’s Nutcracker.

My trip took me up over the Mount Rose summit and down through Incline Village before parking up and watching a large meadow with trees near Spooner Lake. Within ten minutes a Clark’s Nutcracker flew in, landed for scope views and moved off slowly, job done.

I meandered back and decided to finish a few hours before it got dark today, tomorrow may well be different but for now I’m enjoying a rest, no California Gulls and no need to shout Maggie, Maggie, Maggie when I see an American Magpie but that is less of an ear-worm and more of a temporary infliction.

Below some snaps which are not too bad and all with the cheap camera. The Golden-crowned Sparrows seemed to have evolved into a shadow hugging species so I was pleased to get these after 20 minutes of patient stalking and waiting. The rest are Northern Flicker, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Western Scrub Jay, the inevitable California Quail and a view of Lake Tahoe. Four scenery shots in two days, told you I needed a rest!

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