Today I had it in my head to check out Glenshire Pond, which is a little ways east of Truckee. On the way (via the Mt Rose Highway) I stopped at the Incline Village Green to see if anything unusual was happening there. I did see the usual suspects, including chickadees and robins. I got a nice shot of a Brown Creeper. A MacGillivray’s Warbler was flitting around near the creek.
Glenshire Pond is in the center of some homes, widely spaced apart. There is a nice walking path around the entire pond, and the fall color was starting to come in, with lots of gorgeous reflections in the pone. The pond had a surprising number of fowl. In addition to the Canada geese and Mallards, I identified a new (for me) duck – the American Wigeon. This species is easiest to distinguish from other ducks by its bill which is smaller than most and bluish grey in color. In the breeding season (starts in October per Sibley), the males develop dark patches around their eyes that appear as shiny green in the right light; this patch was just starting to show on some of the birds. There were also a number of Gadwall ducks, Pied-bill Grebes, and a resident Great Blue Heron. At the pond outlet, there were some bushy willows where sparrows gathered, and I saw a Spotted Towhee – for me an elusive bird that always “escapes” before I can get my telephoto lens on it. Well this time I got a shot: the bird is identifiable but a pretty poor photo! At the south end of the pond, I noticed an active group of birds in a bush a few yards from the boardwalk path. Some were exhibiting flycatcher-like activity – swooping out a ways for a bug and then returning to same perch. These had pale orange breasts – Says Phoebe! It must have been a family. These were also accompanied by White-crowned Sparrows; these seemed to be eating bugs or seed off the bush. Glenshire Pond was a nice location – I’ll have to revisit it a bit later and see what else turns up!
Today I added 3 species to my Tahoe Big Year list!