I convinced my brother Chris (aka “Doaf”) to meet me for an 8 am amble at Spooner Lake.  We parked up at the Spooner Pass parking area on Highway 50.  It was a gorgeous Spring day at 7000 feet!  We saw many wildflowers, butterflies, and birds.  The first find was some little brown birds on the pathway in front of us.  At first I thought they were the omnipresent dark-eyed juncos, but on closer inspection we observed they were colorful green-tailed towhees looking for seeds.  I didn’t get a real sharp photo, and I was without tripod that day, but they were clearly identifiable.  The osprey had been out fishing early – it had a fish when we spotted it, and another type of raptor was following it, probably hoping for a share of the spoils.  We headed counter-clockwise around the lake, and spotted 2 or 3 flycatcher type birds.  The bird would perch on a pine branch, and then fly out to try and snag insects, and then many times return to the same branch.  It was not overly concerned about us humans. Upon later evaluation of my photos, I identified them as Western Wood Pewees.  The most exciting discovery of the day was the Bald Eagle.  I’ve heard they are around and kept looking out for them.  Finally, we observed it soaring above, and it perched (as if it owned the whole area) on top of a nearby ponderosa pine.  It saw us, but seemed to consider us just a nuisance to keep an eye on.  Spooner Lake is one of my favorite birding sites – and I’ll certainly be back soon!

Today I added 3 species to my Tahoe Big Year list.

Osprey with Fish

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Willows

Wasp on Yellow Flower

Indian Paintbrush

Birders Doaf and Judy at Spooner Lake

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