More info on the Nutcrackers
We (Russ and I, and Nick) parked at the day use parking lot at Laguna Campground. The fee is $5, even if you have a federal lands pass of some sort. My understanding is that this a private operation on federal land. So pay the $5 at the entrance kiosk. Bring a pen.
You walk towards the meadow on a road that leads to some houses – keep the houses on your left as you walk. This does not quite match the trail map. At closest approach to the meadow there is a pass-through opening in the fence that lets you out onto the trail.
The trail heads towards an island of pines, a low hill covered in pines. We had 5 nutcrackers in those pines. Total walking distance was 1/2 mile from the parking lot. The birds sometimes flew towards the houses, but then came back. When the group was separated, they vocalized. The calls were softer than I expected, and the birds were much closer than I thought. When the group was together they were silent. We did have a group of cows under those trees when we first arrived, but they eventually wandered off.
Russ and I walked on to one of the pin-drops from Trissel. We heard nutcrackers from that location, but did not see any. The calls seemed to come from another island of trees out in the meadow, and from the Agua Dulce trail where it meets the meadow. The point is that there are multiple groups of nutcrackers up there.
Russ spotted a female-type Williamson’s Sapsucker feeding in the same tree with the 5 nutcrackers. The birds moved around often, but most of my photos were taken in the tree at this location: 32.8808649, -116.4542574