Don and I headed out for South Tahoe on 580. Unfortunately, we discovered the 580 was closed from north Washoe Lake to Carson City. This forced us to backtrack and drive over the Mt Rose Highway to Incline Village and then south on the 28 to 50. In short, we were late for the TINS meetup! We did join the group just before 10 am as they were nearing where Taylor Creek flows into Lake Tahoe. Along the trail a startling sight was a tree full of perched Great Blue Herons. Very odd, especially as I usually see them wading, not up in a tree! Down at the mouth of Taylor Creek, the ducks were quite active. I was thrilled to get several photos of the Hooded Merganser – a very showy duck, both the male and the female. There were Mallards, Gadwalls, Coots, and Common Mergansers. We saw a Common Merganser snag a very large fish – and then swim wildly about the inlet as other ducks were chasing it, wanting a piece of the action. Some of the group was studying ducks that were way out on Lake Tahoe. One identified that was new to me, but too far for any reasonable photo, was a Common Loon, which I saw through someone’s spotting scope. Just as the group was breaking up, a Bald Eagle came flying over, very low and checking us out. Such an impressive bird! By the way, I’m looking forward to the annual Bald Eagle count that Don and I will participate in next January.
I added 2 species to my TBY list.