Saturday, June 5, 2010

BIRDING YOSEMITE VALLEY

One of the many fringe benefits of living on the Central Coast is its proximity (about 240 miles) to Yosemite National Park. The falls are fabulous due to the huge snow pack this last winter. Yosemite, Vernal, Nevada, and Bridalveil Falls feed into the Merced River; as a consequence the Merced is spreading out into the meadows creating wonderful habitat for birds such as the Spotted Sandpiper (my first sighting) and Mergansers.

American Robin and Black-headed Grosbeak were numerous, both singing at the same time which was music to my ears.

Saw a White-headed Woodpecker and a Red-breasted Sapsucker, but only heard the Pileated Woodpecker (more than one) calling across the Fen (marshy bog) near the Happy Isles Visitor Center. Just hearing its call was a thrill. I learned from a fellow birder that Pileated Woodpeckers make a rectangular hole. Also at the Fen saw: Yellow Warbler, several MacGillavray's Warbler, Western Tanager, Brown Creeper and to my delight, there was nonstop singing. Perky Steller's Jay were everywhere.

Had a wonderful view of a mother Common Merganser with six red-headed little ones. Acorn Woodpeckers were delightfully busy looking for insects in gnarled snags. What a treat to bird in the Yosemite Valley. Am looking forward to a return trip. Below is another TFK (terribly funky video).
video

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