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Stops 4 and seven – Inyo Craters – Reflections of the Pure World


By Jim Acquire
Rosy-Finch Rendezvous Birding Journey Sequence

6/13/2022 & 6/14/2022

Wealthy and I made two stops right here, Cease #4 on Monday afternoon and Cease #7 on Tuesday afternoon.

The Inyo Craters are three north-south-aligned phreatic (steam) explosion craters on the summit and south flank of Deer Mountain. 600 years in the past, an enormous explosion heated rock and floor water, inflicting a big blast zone. At this time, snow soften and rainwater create emerald inexperienced swimming pools within the craters. Accessibility: 1.4 miles (2.25 km) round-trip uphill mountain climbing path.

Artistic Commons Picture by Matthew Dillon

Inyo Craters is a must-stop birding vacation spot for birders and chook photographers wanting to seek out lots of the excessive montane birds of the Sierra Nevada. Species reported right here at the moment of yr embrace: Pine Grosbeak, Night Grosbeak, Black-backed Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker and Purple Crossbill.

Inyo Craters eBird Hotspot Hyperlink

Over the course of the 2 visits right here, we solely recorded 15 species, lacking 4 of the goal birds, however hitting on two of them. Nonetheless, even with so many misses, the stroll was wonderful and so full of gorgeous vistas and mountain chook songs.

As we began up the path in the direction of the craters, we noticed an grownup Mountain Chickadee feeding a juvenal on a fallen tree.

Mountain Chickadee

Subsequent was a really vocal White-breasted Nuthatch that appeared to be making an attempt to out-sing its cousin, the Purple-breasted Nuthatch.

White-breasted Nuthatch

It was nonetheless a bit windy and the birds had been enjoying arduous to get as we hiked the path as much as the craters and again down once more. As we approached the parking zone we spied a pair of Bushy Woodpeckers attending to nestlings in a cavity in a tree proper subsequent to the street.

Bushy Woodpecker
Bushy Woodpecker

We returned the subsequent day, 6/14/2022, in hopes of discovering a Black-backed Woodpecker nest on the finish of the parking zone. We had barely walked 20 ft up the street on the finish of the parking zone when an grownup Black-backed Woodpecker flew over our heads and landed on a tree trunk proper subsequent to a nest cavity. It paused briefly earlier than coming into the outlet. I used to be NOT ready to take pictures as my digicam was within the OFF mode. NOTE TO SELF: Get your digicam prepared earlier than you stroll away from car!!!

Black-backed Woodpecker

We quietly watched the chook because it sat within the outlet with its head protruding. It might sink again into the outlet after which poke its head out and simply sit there trying round.

Black-backed Woodpecker

It will definitely, flew to a close-by tree and proceeded to preen and scratch, straightening and accommodating its feathers.

Black-backed Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker

We took a couple of minutes to wander up the street from the place the nest was and observed that we had transitioned into an space the place a fireplace had burned by way of a number of years in the past. the blackened trunks stood out from the non-burned timber. Black-backed Woodpeckers prefer to feed on beetle larvae which are related to useless and burned stands of timber.

Subsequent Cease: Earthquake Fault Path

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