Rosy-Finch Rendezvous: Stop 3 – Mono Lake County Park

By Jim Gain
Rosy-Finch Rendezvous Birding Adventure Series


The chorus of wrens and vireos hit us as soon as we stepped out of the car. From every clump of cottonwoods along the creek that winds through the park, came the sounds of House Wrens and Warbling Vireos that competed for the bounty of caterpillars found there. The House Wrens’ song was a rolling series of rattles and trills that it intoned from the lower shrubs and branches.

Warbling Vireo

While the Warbling Vireos had more of a run-on warble that it crooned from the upper canopy.

Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo

Suddenly the flash of a bright red head appeared from the clumps of leaves on the trunk of a cottonwood. A sharply dressed member of the woodpecker family, the Red-breasted Sapsucker brightened our visit. We followed it to a nest cavity where he and his mate alternated feeding duties with this year’s hatchlings.

Red-breasted Sapsucker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Red-breasted Sapsucker

After a nice stroll down the boardwalk to the tufas at the lake’s edge, we enjoyed watching the swallows zooming and zipping around in search of their next meal. On a distant tufa was an Osprey nest. I had seen this nest on a previous visit about a year ago with two nestlings.

Osprey Nest

As we headed back up towards the parking lot we were treated to an American Robin that was carefully clutching a caterpillar in its bill while it searched for more.

American Robin

Next stop: Inyo Craters

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