After a gourmet breakfast stop for breakfast sandwiches and Starbucks coffee, we arrived at the Donnell Vista overlook eagerly looking for a couple of our Montane target birds. We had lofty goals of finding Sooty Grouse, Mountain Quail, Hermit Warbler and Evening Grosbeaks.
After a very unusual conversation with another gentleman in the parking lot about some upcoming movie that featured his ancestors, we began our slow walk to the overlook and back around.
The first bird that got our attention was a Thick-billed subspecies of Fox Sparrow that was singing incessantly from the shrubs nearby.
It eventually popped up on a branch and posed quite nicely for us to snap some photos.
As we were photographing it, a Dusky Flycatcher popped up and in the distance I could hear Mountain quail giving their distinctive chuck call.
In the flowers below the Fox Sparrow was feeding Anna’s Hummingbird.
And then, appearing out of nowhere, a small warbler with a brilliant yellow head and a jet-black throat flitted to the top of a nearby for tree.
It began singing from the highest perch, offering the most melodious intonations stating “This is my house!”
My number one target warbler, the Hermit Warbler, proceeded to sing from almost every tall snag in our vicinity.
While not an uncommon warbler, I just didn’t have any kind of decent photograph of this handsome bird.
It was occasionally joined by a Black-throated Gray Warbler and a Red-breasted Nuthatch and a flyby White-headed Woodpecker. What a great start to our Rosy Finch Rendezvous!
Next stop, over Sonora Pass to Mono County and Virginia Lakes!