Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Where the Birds Are ☼ Lassen Volcanic National Park

Red-breasted Nuthatch

We saw (and heard!) so many birds during our hike up to Ridge Lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Cassin's Vireo

There have always been a lot of birds to be seen around Manzanita Lake, which is a nice flat, leisurely walk with great views of Lassen Peak.

Dusky Flycatcher

However, if you're a more ambitious birder (and hiker), I'd definitely recommend the Ridge Lakes hike where we spotted flycatchers (Dusky Flycatcher, Hammond's Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher), Cassin's Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a variety of warblers (Hermit Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler).

Hammond's Flycatcher

This hike is only 2 miles round trip, but has a 1, 045 elevation change and is all uphill, as you can imagine. In mid-August, there were wildflowers in full bloom, representing every color under the rainbow. This is the second time we've done this hike and I didn't think it could get any prettier than when we did it last autumn when there weren't even any flowers.

Orange-crowned Warbler

After completing the hike, we were able to add three new species to our lifelist! I had a heck of a time identifying some of these after we got home, but thanks to the Merlin Bird ID App, we were able to narrow them down.

Dusky Flycatcher

Any time I can say I saw a new bird is a successful birding adventure in my book!

This isn't the greatest shot of the Hermit Warbler--sheesh, warblers are challenging to get photos of!--but it's the only one I was able to get and am posting it for reference purposes.

The Merlin Bird ID App identified this little guy as a juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler... What do you think?

Birds can be found all around Lassen VNP, but it's funny how we find little concentrated pockets of them in certain areas. Just the sound of a jay or the movement of warblers in the trees can make any day a little brighter.

You can read more about my hikes to Ridge Lakes over on my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again.

Let's go birding!
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