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Thrashers – Clark’s Dry Lake

1:47 pm

I birded Clark’s Dry Lake early this morning – turned out to be quite good for thrashers. I listed 10 Sage Thrashers (probably a low count) and 3 to 5 LeConte’s Thrashers. There were two distinct areas with a great deal of bird activity, these areas had many bushes with ripe orange berries that were attracting the birds. There were other smaller areas also with fruit, and smaller numbers of birds. 

Although they are resident birds, the LeConte’s Thrashers are what get people excited. I saw three individuals, and heard individuals calling in other spots. There were Sage Thrashers in each of these locations as well as finches and sparrows. For those of you who are familiar with Clark’s Dry Lake – the active area began south (before) you reach the area the Bendire’s Thrasher was a few years ago. The GPS for the two I photographed is: 
33°19’57.126″ N 116°17’42.138″ W 

33°19’41.76″ N 116°17’31.452″ W

For those of you who are not familiar and want to go explore the area – there is no phone coverage. Use offline maps if you want to use the GPS locations. Otherwise, 2.56 miles from where the pavement becomes dirt there were thrashers. More thrashers 3.5 miles from pavement/dirt transition, and many phainopepla. The road is much sandier than it was last spring. There is a section a mile long that was quite sandy. I never felt like I would get stuck, but the sand does grab your wheels and pulls you to one side or the other.  

One of the two Sagebrush sparrows was north of the place the road crosses the lakebed. 33°20’37.374″ N 116°18’4.002″ W    
It disappeared and I could not refind it. No berries in this area, and no birds other than mockingbirds.

I went and checked Old SPrings Rd and the dump area – very quite, no bushes with berries. I also checked the settling ponds. Also quiet, but it was getting warm and breezy by then. No berries that I could see. Clarks Dry Lake seems like it could turn up something really good, and should get birded some more.