We got a fairly early start and arrived 10 am or so in the hills just above the town of Crystal Bay. We explored along some of the dirt roads and trails and creeks just above the Crystal Bay homes and east of route 267. We immediately encountered a number of birds, including the ubiquitous mountain chickadees and Steller’s jays. We were very excited to see a brown creeper scampering about. (We initially thought it was a baby white-breasted nuthatch, but later we realized its distinctive bill and camouflage against the Ponderosa pine bark signified the brown creeper – a new species for us, and a curious bird to watch). We also saw and heard a number of woodpeckers including a white-headed woodpecker. Don saw a bald eagle in the distance, but I wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo. Meandering a bit farther, we also identified a Clark’s nutcracker. It’s quite a large (bigger than a jay) bird with a bold black and white pattern. It favored the very top of the pine tree to survey its surroundings. After eating our sandwiches, we drove north and checked out the Martis Creek area again which is just south of Truckee. We saw some one very vocal song sparrow and a number of noisy killdeer who did not in any way appreciate our presence.
Today I added 3 species to my Tahoe Big Year list.