Mitchell Canyon

Derek Heins <derek.heins@...>

Jim Chiropolos, Anna Griffith and I birded Mitchell Canyon Sunday
morning in beautiful weather. We hiked a loop up starting up the main
fire road to Eagle Peak via Meridian Ridge Road and then down Mitchell
Rock Trail. Overall, we were very pleased with the number of warblers
(especially Hermit and Black-throated) and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (this
part not surprising given the habitat in the higher elevations) seen.
A surprising highlight was the small picnic area at the 3.5 mile mark
(Deer Flat?) that was very active as we had a handful of Cassin's Vireos
(our only sightings), Black-throated Grey, Townsend's, Hermit, Hutton's
Vireo, Western Bluebird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a late Yellow-rumped
Warbler. Other species picked up earlier along the fire road Mitchell
Canyon included a single Nashville Warbler, single Lazuli Bunting,
female Western Tanager and many Hammond's and Pacific-slope Flycatchers.
Birding along Meridian Ridge Road up to peak of Eagle Peak was very
quiet, possibly because of time of day and wind. The only highlight
past the Deer Flat point was a silent Olive-sided Flycatcher part way
down Mitchell Rock Trail.

The species notably missing/infrequently seen were hummingbird rarities
(though Anna's were everywhere), Orioles (none), Chickadees (only one
pair) and Wilsons (few). Lastly, we had very good lucks at nests of
Hutton's and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers.

Derek Heins

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