Good news and bad news to report on my trip....(Lifers are bolded)
I drove up to Bakerfield from Los Angeles on Friday. I did some birding around Bakersfield Friday. I drove out to Lake Isabella in hopes of seeing the Barrow's Goldeneye that's been reported there. I struck out on the goldeneye. If it was there i couldn't find it (I really need to get a scope). On the way out to the lake I did see a juvenile (sub adult) Bald Eagle.
On my way back into Bakersfield I stopped at Hart Park for a while. No lifers but the highlight of the park was hearing and then finding a Great Horned Owl in a eucalyptis tree. I had never heard a GHO hoot before (other than a recording). It was awesome.
I also made a stop a Beale Park hoping to see and photo Rose-ringed Parakeet. It was getting late and the sun was setting. I got one quick look at one parakeet before it flew off. No photo. I can't believe I haven't seen this bird before. They hang out in a park close to home but somehow I always miss them.
Got up early on Saturday and drove to Maricopa to meet with LAAS for the field trip. We drove all over the Carrizo Plain. I don't know how many miles we covered but it was an all day affair over mostly dirt roads.
The list of birds seen...Ferruginous Hawk, Western Meadowlark, Merlin, Horned Larks, Red-tailed Hawks, Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel, Greater Roadrunner, Sage Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, Sage Sparrow, Mountain Plover, Prairie Falcon. Plus we saw a San Joaquin Kit Fox and some Tule Elk. I did manage a not so great photo of the Prairie Falcon, no photos (still) of the Mountain Plovers. I got photos of the Sage Thrasher and icky distant photos of the Mountain Bluebirds. Also one cruddy long distance shot of the Kit Fox.
OK now the bad news...
It's Sunday morning and I'm writing this in my hotel room waiting for Costco to open so I can replace my left front tire. GRRRR!!! On my way back to my hotel last night my tire went flat. Thankfully I was only about 10 miles out of town. However it was about 8:45 pm and quite dark and deserted. More than a little scary when you're a female traveling alone. Auto Club came out (45 minutes later) and changed my tire, plus CHP came and sat with me until AAA arrived and I was on the phone to my family the whole time I was waiting. Still it was more than a little nerve wracking.
So, I am missing out on day 2 of the field trip. Missing out on my lifer Golden Eagle and LeConte's Thrahser. The good news is I'm alive to tell about it. Goodness knows there were worse places that tire could have given out yesterday. We drove down some pretty hairy two lane mountain road last night on our way to dinner. It would have been an absolute disaster for my tire to have gone flat on the road.
I'll put up photos when I get home.