Images: Short-eared Owl, Mountain Chickadee, Common Nighthawk, Swainson's Hawk, Calliope Hummingbird, Class I (B Stokstad), Coot, Carman Valley
Spectacular snowfalls late in the year meant the high country was still covered in snow, while the valley was full of water. Spring came late and happened fast, so the first class, the second weekend in June, experienced winter, while the third weekend class finished in summer. Both classes enjoyed a dinner at the SF State Sierra Campus. Check out their classes!
Gold Lake Road was plowed for the first time just before the class met at Yuba Pass. The Pass meadow was covered with snow, and both side roads were under about 5' of the white stuff! The Valley was magical, with a great deal of water. Harriott Lane had lots of baby shorebirds, and we found the first Short-eared Owls we'd had on these trips, ever!
A few friends came up between the birding classes to photograph. Most interesting were shorebirds at Harriott and hummers in Carman Valley, along with the owls and raptors in Sierra Valley.
Spring came with the second group. The shorebird babies were now teenagers, the owls increased to at least five Short-eared in the Valley. Snow on Gold Lakes Road melted so the trip back from Plumas-Eureka to the SFSU campus was uneventful - but the Sierra Buttes were still snow covered and spectacular on our walk up Sardine Lake trail.