Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Thursday 21 January 2016

California - Day 6 - 17/1/16

Woke up to a clear and frosty morning in Lebec that continued throughout the course of the day, though warming up somewhat in the flatlands below.  We drove Mt Pinos first thing to avoid the weekend traffic, and this worked a treat. We tried walking the trails at the top but the one metre snow soon deterred us back down to the road after both of us slipping over.  Some good birds were seen on the mountain despite the very cold temperatures, best being a White-headed Woodpecker.
After spending more then enough time here we headed towards Antelope Valley stopping at a couple of lakes on the way through producing the common wetland birds. We then searched yet again in vain for Mountain Plovers, checking all suitable habitat, but with still no luck, I turned on my mobile data and checked e-bird, revealing a sighting yesterday in the area where we were, and after an anxious drive to one of the many fields, we thankfully spotted a group of sixty Plovers. This was a massive weight of our shoulders, and with this we headed off to a couple more sights before dark. 
A very productive day taking in different habitats on top of the dramatic temperature changes. 
Night in Beaumont. 

Mt. Pinos
Mountain Chickadee - 1
Pygmy Nuthatch - 15
White-headed Woodpecker - 1
Steller's Jay - 4
White-throated Swift - 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Western Bluebird - 2
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 1

Quail & Holiday Lake
Goosander - 260
Lesser Scaup - 6
Western Grebe - 50
Bufflehead - 4
Belted Kingfisher - 1
Great Blue Heron - 1
Double-crested Cormorant - 10
Common Crossbill - 2
Anna's Hummingbird - 2

Antelope Valley 
Mountain Plover - 60
Killdeer - 50
Ferruginous Hawk - 1
Northern Harrier - 1
Northern Mockingbird - 2
Vesper Sparrow - 1
Rock Wren - 1

At least one Mountain Plover visible here
 phone-scoped pic of a Mountain Plover
 Mt. Pinos

 the road up to Mt. Pinos was thankfully open, unlike the previous weekend where the local newspaper made a meal out of the 'snow bunnies' coming up from the coast and causing chaos in the heavy snowfall
 scattered Joshua Trees in the Antelope Valley

sunset in the Antelope Valley