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The Mono-logue » Blog Archive » Celebrate bird migration with a Mono Lake guided trip

Celebrate bird migration with a Mono Lake guided trip

August 24th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Have you ever seen a flock of shorebirds dancing in air over a glassy reflective lake? It’s a must-see, even if you aren’t a birder. The birds swirl around each other with seemingly no leader but they’re always in sync, making tight turns and flashing their white bellies in unison. Their whir of wings is calming, a near-silent chorus of feathers.

Wilson's Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Wilson’s Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Late August is the best time to be in the Mono Basin to see large numbers of shorebirds like sandpipers, curlews, and plovers. We’ve designed a few guided trips to get out and scour the shores and shallow lakes for “peeps” (the birder’s affectionate term for small shorebirds). There are also large numbers of ducks out there, on their way south for winter like the shorebirds.

A Least Sandpiper wades in Mono Lake. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

A Least Sandpiper wades in Mono Lake. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Here’s what’s coming up next—come join us!

American Avocets through a spotting scope. Photo courtesy of Justin Hite.

American Avocets through a spotting scope. Photo courtesy of Justin Hite.

Thursday, August 25: Crowley Lake Reservoir Birding will explore Crowley Lake Reservoir south of Mammoth Lakes, which sits surrounded by myriad habitats that host waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors. This birding trip will explore wet meadows, alkali lakes, sagebrush scrub, and the open waters of this freshwater lake to build an exciting list of bird species in a spectacular location. 7:30am–11:30am. $65 for members, $75 for non-members. Sign-up today!

Saturday, August 27: Birding Bridgeport Valley & Reservoir will spend the day birding the Bridgeport Valley, where waterfowl are a-plenty and shorebirds swirl along the mudflats. Gliding American White Pelicans feel prehistoric to watch, and raptors patrol the sagebrush bordering the lake. 7:00am–3:00pm. $125 for members, $135 for non-members. Sign-up today!

Wednesday, August 31: Shorebird Migration Birding will focus on scouring mudflats and ponds for migrating shorebirds, and we will also keep our eyes and ears peeled for songbirds and raptors. The east slope of the Sierra Nevada is a major migration route for birds traveling from northern nesting areas to warm southern habitats. As a result, late summer is the time of year to see fall migrants and early arriving wintering birds in the Mono Basin and Bridgeport Valley. 7:00am–3:00pm. $125 for members, $135 for non-members. Sign-up today!

If these scheduled trips interest you but don’t fit your vacation schedule, we also offer custom guided trips tailored to your wishes and interests. Call (760) 647-6595 to sign up, and visit our Guided Trips web page for more information.

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