The Tahoe Trip Page
June 7 -June 14



Mountain Chickadee
These pictures are from a short trip to Lake Tahoe during the summer of 2009 that my wife and I took. For me it was the first opportunity to use my new camera equipment. For a variety of reasons I have now switched to a Nikon 300D digital SLR with a Nikon 70-300 ED VR lens and a Speedlight SB600. #top


Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
emerald bay


Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) #top
steller's jay



Much of the photography on this trip was done in a parcel of land that abuts a USFS campsite. We refered to the area as the NoName Park since all the other areas that we went to had specific names. The following pictures show the variety of meadow, trees, marsh/meadow that could be found in this area. The park was located right next to Highway 50 on the Nevada side.
sierra landscape
The USFS had blocked off many areas, such as this, for environmental restoration. The Wilson's Snipe used the fence posts as an area to sit and display.
sierra landscape
A small pond was at the beginning of the trail and provided home for a few ducks and Red-winged Blackbirds.
sierra landscape
White-headed Woodpeckers, Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches nested in the trees to the right. #top
sierra landscape
The Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows nested in the small marsh underneath this wooden bridge. #top
sierra landscape

Lake Tahoe is about a five minute walk in the direction of the clouds.

In this picture the edge effect is very visible. "An edge effect in biology is the effect of the juxtaposition of contrasting environments on an ecosystem. This term is commonly used in conjunction with the boundary between natural habitats, especially forests, and disturbed or developed land. Edge effects are especially pronounced in small habitat fragments where they may extend throughout the patch." Wikipedia. The edge effect could be seen in the number of species found right at the edge of the trees and the meadow. #top

Clouds formed regularly in the morning and by the afternoon produced thunderstorms. Locals talked about the amount of rain and the possibility of snow. #top


Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird defending its territory and or advertising for a female Red-winged Blackbird (on the left). #top



Wilson's Snipe
wilson's snipe
This Snipe was nesting in the meadow shown above. #top


The Condo Tree
condo tree



In this one tree alone I found a cavity nest for a Pygmy Nuthach, a Northern Flicker, a Western Bluebird, and a European Starling. Trees that are especially good for cavity nesting are often trees that are rather advanced in age.

Below are at least ten trees that had been marked in blue by the USFS so that work crews would know to cut them down as a part of forest managment. Much of the No Name Park was closed down so that forest management could take place. (See also the White-breasted Nuthatch.)








Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) wblue
Western Bluebird
Western Bluebird
Male Western Bluebird
Female at the nesting cavity #top


Pygmy Nuthatch (Sitta pygmaea)
On the picture on the left, one of the adults is bringing out some fecal material to keep the nesting cavity clean.On the right the two adults meet at the entrance of the nest cavity. #top
pygmy nuthatch


White-breasted Nuthatch
Female with insect
A male White-breasted Nuthatch is bringing food to its young within a cavity in this old tree that has been marked with blue by the USFS so that it can be cut down during the week; a part of their forest management. (See also the Condo Tree) #top


Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)


Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

evening grosbeak  

Two Evening Grosbeaks flew into the grove of aspens that I was standing in while I photographed the Empid Flycatcher.



Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)
Empidonax refers to a genus of 11 species of flycatchers that are so similar that it is quite difficult to identify the different species. This bird never called during the time that I was near it which makes identifying it more difficult. There are three species of flycatchers that breed in the Lake Tahoe area. #top


Dusky Flycatcher
empid flycatcher
The flycatcher was very busy constructing the nest. There were no eggs in the nest and the bird was busy adding vegetation, and testing how comfortable the nest was. #top


Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Song Sparrow

This race of Song
Sparrow is very red. It has long been known that the Song Sparrow, one of the most widely distributed species in the USA is represented by at least 20 different sub-species. #top







Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

The left wing of this Osprey shows something that looks like a piece of metal on the third primary feather. What it means or how it got there is yet to be determined.




Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) female
female western tanager


White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) female
  Female is bringing food to the cavity while the male is emerging with fecal matter. #top


Western Wood Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)
western wood pewee
western wood pewee


Western Wood Pewee Nest


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)


Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) Immature


Swallowtail sp.

Snow Plant (Sarcodes sanguinea)


Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

belding squirrel
douglas squirrel
douglas squirrel
Belding Ground Squirrel
Chipmunk sp.
Douglas Squirrel
Douglas Squirrel