Western Mariposa and eastern Merced County


Yesterday I went out to the Merced River below McSwain Dam to look for the male Red-breasted Merganser found there a few days ago by Dale Swanberg. I dipped on the merg but I did see a pair of Gadwall, which was a county bird. I also watched an adult Bald Eagle get harassed by an Osprey for a while and saw my first Yellow Warbler of the season, a very handsome male. Plus, while walking back up to the road from the fishing access parking lot, which is currently closed due to the virus situation, I spotted a very healthy Western Pacific Rattlesnake which allowed me to take a few pictures before it crawled off into the grass and vetch. Just minutes before I spotted the snake there was a young woman tromping around on the hillside, in the same knee-high grass and vetch that the snake crawled off into, taking pictures of the Osprey nest on the telephone pole.

Next I headed down to White Rock Road, by way of E Childs Ave and S Fresno Road. On S Fresno Road I found yet another BREWER'S SPARROW, that makes at least 7 that I've seen in the past couple of weeks. I did not find any out-of-the-ordinary birds on White Rock Road but at the old barn in Mariposa County, where I stopped to make a quick check for owls (didn't find any), I looked under an old piece of plywood and found a nice Gilbert's Skink and a Sawfinger Scorpion. I saw a Coyote on 140 on the way home, too.

As always, happy birding, stay safe, stay sane and may the light be with you,
Ralph Baker, Riverbank