LeConte's Sparrow and other neat birds at Furnace Creek Ranch

From: Rosie Beach, Chris Howard, Jon Dunn
Email: choward@telis.org
Remote Name:
Date: 10/06/02
Time: 09:25 PM

We spent Sunday, October 6th birding Furnace Creek Ranch. Rosie found the best bird of the day: A LeConte's Sparrow, a gorgeously orange-striped sparrow skulking in the dense grass under the date palm grove west of the 600 building (see photos below). We were amazed to see this sparrow which has only been seen in California roughly 20 times.  Other neat birds were an immature richardsonii Merlin, 4-6 Inca Doves, 1 female Ruddy Ground-dove, 1 juvenile male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1 Red-naped X Red-breasted Sapsucker hybrid, 1 really late Willow Flycatcher (another one at Panamint Springs, too), a late Western Kingbird, a late Bank Swallow, 1 Clay-colored Sparrow, three races of Fox sparrow: Red, Slate-colored and Sooty, 1 Swamp Sparrow, 6 White-throated Sparrows, 1 Gray-headed Junco, 1 Chestnut-collared Longspur, 2 late Lazuli Buntings, and to top it all off a gorgeous female Lawrence's Goldfinch.

Also, Panamint Springs had a late Yellow-breasted Chat.

Click on a photo to view; Photos digiscoped by Chris Howard (c) with handheld Nikon Coolpix 995 and Leica Televid APO 77mm:

LeConte's Sparrow: DSCN7340_lesp.JPG (64567 bytes)  DSCN7343_lesp.JPG (63846 bytes)  

Chestnut-collared Longspur: DSCN7322_cclo.JPG (83771 bytes) 

Clay-colored Sparrow:  DSCN7335_ccsp.JPG (71571 bytes) 

Sooty Fox Sparrow:  DSCN7354_so_fosp.JPG (56750 bytes)