Friday, 9 October 2015

Yosemite to Death Valley - 21.8.15

After breakfast, packing the van and 3 Acorn Woodpecker and a Western Scrub Jay we headed off towards the hottest place on earth! Quite why I agreed to visit this place seeing as I cant stand the heat I don't know! To break up the drive we stopped off at a few places. First of these was Olmstead Point. Another great view and finally a bird I was hoping to see when the first of 7 CLARK'S NUTCRACKER flew over.
Tenaya Lake

Next stop was the very pretty Tenaya Lake, On the water were 3 Black-Necked Grebe and in a picnic area were a few Brewer's Blackbird and a single Nashville Warbler.

Another stop was at Tioga Peak. On stepping out the van another Clark's Nutcracker flew over as did a couple of Raven. Just then I noticed a small bird on the rocks below me. I got it in the bins and found myself looking at a CASSIN'S FINCH!

We stopped off for lunch at café in Lee Vining. But just before we arrived I picked out a stunning WHITE-TAILED KITE hovering like a Kestrel by the roadside. At the café an adult Green-Tailed Towhee was in the garden and a couple of Monarch butterflies were feeding on the flowers.

Whilst driving we passed Crowley Lake. Sat roosting on the lake were at least 25 AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN and overhead were 3 Turkey Vulture.

Other notebook worthy sightings were a Pine Siskin over Bishop and Lone Pine. And at a fuel stop in Big Pine an Osprey flew over as did my first ever WHITE-WINGED DOVE!

A Joshua Tree
Death Valley Viewpoint
Eventually we reached Death Valley and boy was it warm but most of us thought it's not too bad! At a quick viewpoint and loo stop one of the party alerted me to a large bird of prey overhead. The light wasn't brilliant but as it got closer it turned out to be a Golden Eagle!


Sand Dune
As we approached our home for the night the traffic ahead slowed down. On looking out the front window we noticed a Coyote stood in the middle of the road! We pulled over and got some photos before we realised there were another 3 behind us! Quite an experience. As the light was failing we were taken to a lone sand dune a mile down the road from our accommodation. This is where we finally experienced the full force of the heat that Death Valley is known for! Stepping out of the air conditioned van it felt like opening the door of an oven hitting you. And coupled with a fairly strong breeze it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I'll never complain about it being too hot in the UK again! (ok I probably will!)

No comments:

Post a Comment