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

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By Jim Achieve
Rosy-Finch Rendezvous Birding Journey Collection

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. Immediately, snow soften and rainwater create emerald inexperienced swimming pools within the craters. Accessibility: 1.4 miles (2.25 km) round-trip uphill mountaineering path.

Artistic Commons Picture by Matthew Dillon

Inyo Craters is a must-stop birding vacation spot for birders and chook photographers wanting to search out lots of the excessive montane birds of the Sierra Nevada. Species reported right here at the moment of 12 months embrace: Pine Grosbeak, Night Grosbeak, Black-backed Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker and Crimson 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. Nevertheless, even with so many misses, the stroll was superb and so full of lovely 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 attempting to out-sing its cousin, the Crimson-breasted Nuthatch.

White-breasted Nuthatch

It was nonetheless a bit windy and the birds have 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 Furry Woodpeckers attending to nestlings in a cavity in a tree proper subsequent to the highway.

Furry Woodpecker
Furry 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 highway 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 opening. 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 opening with its head protruding. It could sink again into the opening after which poke its head out and simply sit there wanting 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 highway from the place the nest was and seen that we had transitioned into an space the place a fireplace had burned by a number of years in the past. the blackened trunks stood out from the non-burned bushes. Black-backed Woodpeckers prefer to feed on beetle larvae which can be related to lifeless and burned stands of bushes.

Subsequent Cease: Earthquake Fault Path

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