We just returned from the Eastern Sierras where my husband, Vic Leipzig, co-led a Sea and Sage Audubon birding trip with Linda Oberholtzer.
Diaz Lake, CA
We started at 7 am at Diaz Lake just south of Lone Pine. You can see the brown Alabama Hills behind the lake and in front of the Sierras. The Alabama Hills and Lone Pine area was a very popular spot for filming Westerns.
Reeds in the lake
View of Alabama Hills and Eastern Sierras from the visitor center south of Lone Pine
Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery north of Independence, CA
We enjoyed a group dinner at Jack’s Restaurant in Bishop, and spent the night in Bishop.
We gathered at the Little Green Church south of Mammoth Lakes early Sunday morning to caravan to the sage grouse lek.
Little green church at Benton Crossing Road and Hwy 395.
A series of forks and turns on dirt roads took us to the entry gate to the lek area.
The group hiked to the lek, approaching very slowly, and never getting close enough to disturb the birds.
Greater Sage Grouse males displaying.
The grouse disperse shortly after the sun hits the lek.
These are a few of the three dozen mule deer that we saw.
These sagebrush flats are part of the Great Basin sagebrush habitat.
We spotted a bald eagle feeding in the distance at the edge of Crowley Lake.
Ken Wells led us to a site where bank swallows nest.
The group needed to hike to see the swallows.
Convict Lake is a beautiful spot.
A few people spotted a dipper in this stream. I missed it.
We finished the trip with lunch at Tom’s Cafe south of Mammoth Lakes.
The group found 103 bird species, a record for the April Eastern Sierras trip. In addition, we saw mule deer, coyotes, and beautiful scenery. This is one of my favorite vacation spots. From Lone Pine to Mono Lake, I never tire of it, never get enough of it.