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Agua Caliente last week

Agua Caliente last week
By – 8:27 pm
Hi,This is a bit delayed, but maybe it will still be useful. I spent 4nights at Agua Caliente last week with a few other birders (Tuesday lateafternoon through Saturday mid afternoon). I know some people saw theAlerts about the Sage Thrasher and were out looking for it while we werethere. That bird seemed to follow us around. For a little while wecouldn’t decide if there was only one or if there were two. Afterwatching it come for water at the puddle between campsite 110 and theday use area, and then seeing it fly off over the hill towards the MarshTrail we decided there was just one. We saw it both on the Marsh Trailand in the day use area across from the ranger station. I also saw italong the main entrance road one time. On Saturday it was buried in abush near the road by the day use area, reaching up to grab small,oblong-shaped, red-orange berries. The first time we saw it on Tuesdayevening, it was perched in the open in that area. One of my lists hascoordinates for where we saw it multiple times along the Marsh Trail.Very difficult to spot there as it blends in so well.There was an extremely shy Green-tailed Towhee covering a lot of groundbetween campsites in the 118 and 119 sites area, back to the road to thenorth, once in campsite 111, and along the edge of the Storybook Trail(previously known as the Nature Trail). We saw it most days, but I thinkwe missed it on Friday.The number and variety of species changes daily out there. I believethey had relatively high winds on Monday night, which can cause somefallout of migrating birds. Last year they had 50 mph winds the nightbefore we got there and the park was completely overrun with birds for afew days. Not quite as many this year, but still a lot the first few days.Tuesday evening and Wednesday the bird of the day was NashvilleWarblers. Had more Bullock’s Orioles the first few days than I’ve everseen there in the 8 trips I’ve done. Tuesday evening about a dozen ofthem came popping out of the brush along the road leading to the rangerstation. By the time we left only a few were around. We had a decentnumber of MacGillivray’s Warbler sightings every day. Easiest place tofind them is in the campground. They are harder to get on the trails.They’re out there, but stay buried a lot of the time. Wilson’s Warblersalways seem to be there during migration, but on Thursday they startedto become an annoyance, LOL! There was a larger than usual number ofYellow Warblers on Wednesday, but their numbers dropped quickly afterthat. Black-throated Grays were consistently around in small numbers.Plenty of Orange-crowned Warblers. Thursday and Friday brought anincrease in Black-headed Grosbeaks and Pacific-slope Flycatchers. Sawonly one Hermit Warbler for maybe 5 seconds and very few Townsend’s. Only a few Lazuli Buntings. Had one at the campsite and a few at the endof the Marsh Trail. Had two Cassin’s Vireos. One at the end of the MarshTrail, and one at the campsite. Found one Vesper Sparrow, and twoBrewer’s. Small number of Western Tanagers. There was a good number ofYellow-breasted Chats by the time we left. Seemed like more than Iremember from prior years. We saw one Lesser Nighthawk at dusk on bothThursday and Friday evening. We had small numbers of Vaux’s Swifts go byover the last few days. The whole area is overrun with Phainopepla. BySaturday things had slowed down considerably.Here is a link to a trip report. The totals for each species is kind ofdeceiving. That’s the total of individual sightings, not the totalnumber of birds. If you expand the details it shows how many of eachspecies was on each list. I did multiple lists each day. Towards the endwhen we went out the Marsh trail we started doing 3 lists. One on theway out, one at the end at the seep, and one on the way back. Made iteasier to not have to try to determine if we were double counting birdson one list. Looking at the report, my lists definitely have someundercounts. Especially of Wilson’s Warblers. It was really hard todetermine if we were seeing new individuals or if the same ones werecircling around an area or following us up the Marsh Trail.https://ebird.org/tripreport/48684 <https://ebird.org/tripreport/48684>Lisa RubySabre Springs– Lisa RubySabre Springs