Caliente Mt.


On Sunday, May 7, my 9 year old son and I mt. biked and hiked to the top of
Caliente Mt. - the tallest peak in the county (Soda Lake Road south from 58,
the first right after the road to the Painted Rock Interpretive Center, to
the lot on the top of the ridge, and then south along a fire road for about 8
miles one way to the top). The wildflowers were beautiful and the birds were
active - singing into midday due to the cloud cover and relatively cool
temperatures. The habitat was mainly scrub oak, juniper, and other brush,
with grassy patches and some rocky slopes and sandy soil. We saw the
following birds in order of abundance - the most common first: Lark Sparrow,
Common Raven, Western Meadowlark, Spotted Towhee, Scrub Jay, CA Towhee,
Lawrence's Goldfinch, House Finch, CA Quail, Oak Titmouse, White-throated
Swift, CA Thrasher, Bushtit, Bewick's Wren, Black-chinned Sparrow, Mt Quail,
Red-tailed Hawk, Black-headed Grosbeak, Mourning Dove, Western Bluebird,
Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Wrentit, Lazuli Bunting, Phainopepla,
Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Kestrel, Turkey Vulture, and
Red-shafted Flicker.
We also had a small Horned lizard, a large gopher snake, and a great view
from the summit with no one else on the trail all day.
-Jim Royer