Today Don and I drove south to Carson Pass (on Highway 88) to pick up my brother Chris (aka Doafmaster) who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in segments.  We’d arranged to hike south a couple miles from Carson Pass to Frog Lake to meet up with our PCT hiker.  In reviewing the allowed Tahoe Big Year birding zone and rules, the PCT in the Carson Pass area is just legal for recording TBY birds, so I was excited to bring my camera to see some new birds and also some awesome scenery.  Unfortunately, the smoke in the area (from the Ferguson fire near Yosemite) made visibility rather poor. At least the smoky air did seem to cool the effect of the sun’s rays, so it was a bit cooler hiking than it could have been.

Per the plan, we met Doaf at Frog Lake, a beautiful little Sierra Lake.  Butterflies abounded and there were still some wildflowers at the high elevation (8790 ft at Frog Lake). Along the trail, we spotted mountain chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, and a few sparrows.  We also observed a pretty pair of pine grosbeaks (female pictured below; for male pine grosbeak, which is dramatically different in coloring, see Tahoe Meadows blog page).

I did not observe any new species for my TBY list today, but I was proud to hike some of the PCT with Doaf!  I intend to return on a clear day and do serious landscape photography.

Female Pine Grosbeak

Frog Lake (note anti-haze filter liberally applied!)

Pistol with Doaf on the PCT

To learn more about Doafmaster’s adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail, refer to his blog

Spanish Fritillary Butterfly

Dark-eyed Junco

Bee on Clover along PCT

Frog Lake Flora

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