(photo-yes the sky is that blue), saw a Stunning Black-backed Woodpecker on a nearby pine tree. He sported a yellow cap and a long stout bill (very masculine). His drumming sounded like a jackhammer. (hard not to miss). First time sightings are always exciting (camera was in the car).
Next stop was Niceley's Restaurant, the only open Restaurant in Lee Vining. Fortunately, the food was good. Sunday's destination was Devil's Post Pile, above Mammoth and Hot Creek, south of Mammoth. Quite a few international tourists at Devil's Post Pile. I looked at the rocks, took a few photos, and then concentrated on birding along the absolutely, glorious Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River; found an area where birds were dashing back and forth across a quiet flowing stream - the water was crystal clear. Was able to identify Hutton's Vireo and MacGillivray's Warbler. In the pines were numerous Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Brown Creeper (my favorite), and a White-headed Woodpecker. Overhead Ravens soared.
Due to the rutted gravel road back to the highway, I was driving slowly, which was fortunate, because I had another first sighting, three Black-billed Magpie sitting on a water tank - a very nice way to end the day.