I’m camped at Lava beds National Monument (Northeast California) for a few days.
The volcanic rocks around here were gassy and have lots of holes. I put water in a natural cavity near my site and immediately had birds showing up to drink and bathe.
There are no springs in the park and the closest surface water is possibly at least 6 miles away in Tule Lake. When it rains here (rare in the summer) there would be plenty of water in natural cavities. But after those dry up birds that need to drink would have to go quite far to find it.
Thus the popularity of my temporary water pool.
Its wonderful to watch birds up close. I got some photos and will spread them out a bit so this post doesn’t get too large.
In order of frequency:
American robin (one to many present all day long)
Townsend’s solitaire (almost as many as the robins)
Yellow-rumped warbler (frequently present)
Cassin’s finch (frequently present)
Bushtit (a lflock of 20 only came thru once)
Gambel’s quail (covey of 15)
Juniper titmouse (2)
Northern flicker (2)
Woodhouse’s scrub jay (2)
Bewick’s wren (2)
Mountain chickadee (2)
White crowned sparrow
Sharp-shinned hawk (hunting, not drinking)
Non avian also in the neighborhood:
Dasymutillid velvet wasp male (only males have wings)
Kirby’s backswimmer (a predaceous aquatic insect)
Western fence lizard (juveniles and a colorful adult)
Oedaleonotus orientis (a type of spur-throated grasshopper)
I’ll post the birds in future posts.
Here’s a mating pair of spur-throated grasshoppers.