Program 2019

Programs highlighted in blue do not count towards your Chautauqua program total and are open to the public.


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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pre-Chautauqua Events

The High Sierra responds to a changing climate (presentation)
Kevin C. Brown, Deanna Dulen, Raejean Fellows, Kris Hohag, Ellery McQuilkin, Geoff McQuilkin, Connie Millar
The Mono Basin's climate action group, 350 MONO, will present an afternoon of education on high elevation climate issues in the Eastern Sierra. Bird enthusiasts are invited to spend an extra day in the area and attend a series of afternoon talks on a wide array of topics including Mono Lake, desert pupfish survival, tree adaptations in Devils Postpile, and the long-term GLORIA project, which monitors changes in alpine vegetation over time. Electric vehicles will also be featured, with an outside display and a session from the Electric Auto Association of California. We hope attendees will be inspired to take action in their own lives and communities to encourage climate progress. No charge and open to all.
Thursday 1:00pm–5:00pm                            
Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center auditorium


001: Birding between the breweries (field trip; $80 additional program cost)
Nora Livingston and Justin Hite
Mono County is notable for spectacular scenery, great birding, and a growing collection of high-elevation breweries. Combine your love for birds and brews on this relaxed afternoon trip, which will introduce you to some great birding at a few local hotspots as well as great beer at some hotspots of another kind. Bring your binoculars, proof of age, and a thirst for birds (beginners and experts alike are welcome). We will provide a fourteen-passenger van and a sober birding guide. One beverage per person per brewery is included in the program cost; participants may purchase additional beverages and food.
Thursday 1:00pm–6:00pm                                            
Meet at the Mobil Gas Station



Friday, June 14, 2019


101: Birding Mono's south shore & beyond (field trip)
Justin Hite
This fun trip will explore the south shore of Mono Lake, including South Tufa and Navy Beach, to look for shorebirds and waders as well as gulls and waterbirds. We'll then leave the exposed lakeshore habitat to cool off in the shade of the Jeffrey pine forest to look for Pinyon Jay, chickadees, and perhaps Gray Flycatcher. This trip will venture out Highway 120 east toward Big Sand Flat and beyond, with gorgeous views of granite towers and the sagebrush sea. (est. driving miles: 90, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Friday 6:00am–12:00pm                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

103: Finches, woodpeckers, & birding the pine woodlands (field trip)
Pete Devine
On this trip we will explore Jeffrey and lodgepole pine forests south of Lee Vining looking for woodpeckers and finches. We will focus on looking for nesting woodpeckers including Williamson's Sapsucker and Lewis', Hairy, White-headed, and Black-backed woodpeckers, Cassin's Finch, and Red Crossbill. If this happens to be a year when the irruptive Evening Grosbeak are gracing the area, we will walk a couple miles listening for them, and if we are lucky, watch these amazing "grosbeaked" birds. Resident species we have a good chance of observing include Mountain Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, Chipping Sparrow, Steller's Jay, and Mountain Bluebird. (est. driving miles: 60, hiking difficulty:  moderate)
Friday 6:00am–11:00am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

105: Crowley Lake: Sagebrush and waterbirds galore (field trip)
Debbie House
Crowley Lake Reservoir, cradled in the Long Valley Caldera and formed by the damming of the Owens River, offers spectacular views of the High Sierra to the west and the Glass Mountain and White Mountain ranges to the east. Crowley is nestled amid a mix of sagebrush, wet meadows, and small alkali lakes, attracting a variety of breeding and migrant waterbirds. June is the peak of the breeding season, so we should see several species of nesting ducks, shorebirds, and grebes, plus some over-summering non-breeders and late migrants. We will also view the largest Bank Swallow colony in the Eastern Sierra, enjoy the beautiful song of the Sage Thrasher, the subtle beauty of the Brewer's Sparrow, and if we are really lucky, run into some Bi-State Sage Grouse. (est. driving miles: 80)
Friday 6:30am–1:30pm

Lee Vining Community Center

107: Crafty Corvids east of the crest (field trip)
Nora Livingston
Jays, magpies, nutcrackers, and ravens are the Eastside's intellectual avian troublemakers and problem solvers. These Corvids are known for their spatial memory, complex social interactions, and their elusiveness in the Mono Basin (well, some of them). On this field trip we will explore the habitats and natural history of as many of the local Corvids as possible, with a focus on finding Pinyon Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay in the Rancheria Gulch area. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 6:30am–12:00noon                                          
Lee Vining Community Center

 

109: Birding the Bridgeport Valley (field trip)
Peter Metropulos
Bridgeport Reservoir sits within beautiful Bridgeport Valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Sweetwater range. Waterfowl, grebes, terns, pelicans, and shorebirds grace the surface and shore of this popular fishing reservoir. After birding along the eastern shore of the reservoir we will head north, pausing here and there to investigate the riparian corridor and pinyon pine woodland bordering the East Walker River along Highway 182. In 2008 a pair of Sandhill Cranes nested at Bridgeport Reservoir—a new record for Mono County documented by Peter! (est. driving miles: 70, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 6:30am–11:30am                                             
Lee Vining Community Center

 
111: Birding DeChambeau Ponds & Ranch (field trip)
Oliver James
Fresh water sources are few and far between in the Mono Basin. Small ponds, springs, and even roadside puddles can act as localized oases in the vast sea of sagebrush. Join Oliver to scour some of these productive hotspots along Mono Lake's north shore, namely DeChambeau Ranch, DeChambeau Ponds, and time allowing, the County Ponds and on down to the Mono Lake shoals. We'll keep our eyes peeled for waterbirds, breeding songbirds, and sagebrush specialists alike. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 6:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

113: Oasis in the desert: Alkali wetlands at Black Lake Preserve (field trip)
Susanna Danner, Sara Kokkelenberg, and Kay Ogden
A rare wetland between the Benton Range and Black Mountain, Adobe Valley's Black Lake is home to a vast variety of unusual flora and fauna. Designated as an Important Bird Area, Black Lake is critical to supporting avian populations: it serves as a breeding outpost for dozens of migrating bird species and also provides a vital water source for pronghorn, mule deer, Great Basin spadefoot toad, and Wong's springsnail. Thanks to a generous property donation in 2014, Black Lake Preserve is now owned by Eastern Sierra Land Trust. Join Land Trust staff as they lead an early-morning walking tour of this protected alkali lake and wetland. Likely sights include rare alkali meadow plants, waterfowl, shorebirds, and, if we are lucky, Loggerhead Shrike. (est. driving miles: 130, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 6:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center
Approximately one hour drive each way to Black Lake Preserve.

 

115: Birding McGee Canyon (field trip)
Tom Hahn and Mary Clapp
McGee is a spectacular, colorful, metamorphic canyon with a strong creek running through it. The hike begins at about 8,000 feet in sagebrush where Brewer's Sparrow and Green-tailed Towhee are common. After a short climb, the trail passes water birch and aspen with side streams where birds and butterflies gather. The trail gradually climbs up into junipers and limber pines with Clark's Nutcracker and Townsend's Solitaire. Dippers are frequently seen on the creek. After a tricky creek crossing, the trail winds through hemlock and lodgepole to a shallow beaver pond. The hike is moderate with some stream crossings and a great variety of birds and plants. Bring a lunch. (est. driving miles: 80, hiking difficulty: moderate to strenuous)
Friday 7:00am–2:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

117: Hiking Clark Canyon (field trip)
Stephen Shunk
In the shadow of Bald Mountain lies the lesser-known Clark Canyon. A tiny spring at the head of the canyon nourishes a series of small aspen groves and provides water for a broad diversity of bird life. The steep canyon walls are covered in Jeffrey pine, many of which burned in the 2016 Clark Fire, and the rocky rim offers an impressive backdrop to this hidden gem. We will hike down into the canyon and all over this small basin while we search for a fun array of bird species. Lazuli Bunting and Black-headed Grosbeak will be singing among the aspens, while Western Tanager and Cassin's Finch course through the pines. The grassland habitat invites Western Kingbird and Vesper Sparrow, and woodpecker species may include Lewis's and Black-backed woodpeckers, along with the expected Hairy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker. Expect a moderately difficult two-mile hike as we zig-zag across uneven, untracked terrain. Note that there is no restroom in the canyon and little protection from the sun, so please be prepared. (est. driving miles: 50, hiking difficulty: strenuous)
Friday 7:00am–12:30pm                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

119: Mono's forgotten tributary: Water, wildlife, & history of Dry Creek (field trip)
Paul McFarland
East of Mono Lake's well-traveled tributaries, a mysterious creek sometimes flows north from the world's largest Jeffrey pine forest down (literally) into bitterbrush and alkali flats. This trip will explore the unique and rarely traveled canyon formed by Dry Creek—an ephemeral stream carving a deep canyon through the gently sloping northwest slope of the Glass Mountains. With a couple of short strolls (less than one mile each) on and off forest dirt roads, we'll take a holistic journey through the natural and cultural history of old-growth Jeffrey pines, young lodgepole forests, and shimmering aspen groves accompanied by the incidental music of this hidden stream. We'll probably see a diverse passel of birdies, too. Please bring water and a snack; expect 45 miles of stunningly scenic round trip driving. (est. driving miles: 45, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 7:00am–12:00pm                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

121: Mountains & birds: Birding the Virginia Lakes Basin (field trip)
Kristie Nelson
This half-day trip will explore habitats and avifauna of the local montane region. We'll begin in the aspen and conifer riparian ecosystem along Virginia Creek and its adjacent sagebrush-steppe. We'll continue on to the Virginia Lakes area, near 10,000 feet above sea level (drivable). We hope to see a diverse assemblage of birds, and the scenery should be memorable. Species we may encounter include Western Tanager, Mountain Chickadee, Fox Sparrow (Sierra Nevada sub-species), and more. If luck is with us, we may see more elusive species like Western Flycatcher, Red Crossbill, or Gray-crowned Rosy-finch. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Friday 7:00am–12:00noon                                          
Lee Vining Community Center

 

123: Lundy Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Scott Dietrich
We will head up Lundy Canyon with open minds regarding what we may see, enjoying the wonderful assemblage of breeding birds in this Eastern Sierra drainage. The mixture of open water, riparian, coniferous, and sagebrush habitats found in this canyon attracts a nice diversity of birds, and these habitats are quite accessible via the main road and short trails along the creek. Since it will be the heart of nesting season, we will likely spend some time observing birds at various stages of their breeding cycles. Expect sapsuckers, woodpeckers, pewees, vireos, jays, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, chickadees, grosbeaks, swallows, warblers, tanagers, juncos, towhees, sparrows, and finches. We will be walking mostly on dirt roads and trails with some light off-trail walking possible. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 7:00am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

125: Birding Burger's Retreat (field trip)
Sarah Hockensmith
We'll drive up and over a steep moraine out of Lee Vining Canyon on our way to a privately-owned secluded nature reserve only a short distance from the masses of visitors passing through Yosemite. We'll stroll through a rich variety of habitats including sagebrush, meadow, willow thickets, aspen groves, conifers, and rock outcroppings. Green-tailed Towhee, woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers, and many others may make an appearance. (est. driving miles: 6, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 7:00am–11:00am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

127: Walk quietly & carry a big lens (field trip)
Santiago Escruceria
Join this trip for an easily accessible and gentle stroll next to a beautiful riparian corridor to photograph birds. With our own cameras we will look for Osprey, orioles, finches, wrens, swallows, and eagles. We will investigate basic wildlife photography technique and take advantage of the morning light. (est. driving miles: 22, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 7:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

129: Learning to listen: Birding by ear for beginners (field trip)
Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn
This is a field trip and workshop for those who want to begin to identify birds by sound. We will develop listening skills while exploring Lee Vining Canyon. Lee Vining Creek drains from the high alpine mountains of Yosemite and Tioga Pass down through the canyon and out into the arid sagebrush scrub surrounding Mono Lake, offering breathtaking views as well as a wide variety of habitats and a diversity of bird sounds. The goal of this trip is to begin to identify common bird sounds, distinguish between some basic bird song patterns, introduce various ways to "see" a bird song, and link what you are hearing with what you see. Bring your notebook, pencil, binoculars, and ears. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 7:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

131: Birding Lee Vining Canyon (field trip)
Will Richardson
Lee Vining Canyon is one of the Eastern Sierra's premier birding locations. It offers a variety of habitats and breathtaking views. Of particular interest is the habitat progression as Lee Vining Creek drains from the high alpine mountains of Yosemite and Tioga Pass down through the canyon and into the arid sagebrush scrub surrounding Mono Lake. American Dipper, Townsend's Solitaire, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, and nuthatches are among the many species that we may see. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 7:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

133: Birding the Lakes Canyon trail (field trip)
Ryan DiGaudio
This hike begins in the sagebrush at the Lundy Lake dam at about 7,800 feet in elevation and will take us steadily uphill above the south shore of the lake through willow, aspen, and conifer groves. Because of the variety of habitats we'll be visiting, we should see and hear a variety of bird species, including multiple species of warblers, Fox Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, woodpeckers, Warbling Vireo, and others. We will not trek all the way to the lakes but will stop at an elevation of about 8,800 feet near the wilderness boundary. Up to three miles of hiking round trip with spectacular views of lakes, streams, and high peaks. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: strenuous)
Friday 7:30am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

135: Birding the wildflowers (field trip)
Ann Howald
The location for this wildflower walk will be selected just before the Chautauqua begins to take advantage of the best place for flowers. This may mean a return to Lundy Canyon, or we may visit another location. Along with the flowers, stops for birds are frequent. Plan on a walk of about two miles with a modest elevation gain. Bring lunch and plenty of water. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 8:00am–12:30pm                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

137: Birding for beginners (field trip)
Lacey Greene
Are you new to watching birds? Or are you perhaps the partner of an avid birder, willing to go along but not ready to call yourself a birder? Do you maybe have a cast-off pair of binoculars but don't understand what the numbers on them mean, or how to use them? And what's with bird books: why aren't the birds alphabetized? If some of the Chautauqua offerings seem over your head or beyond your patience, this is the program for you! We'll go over some basic binocular information, practice using this equipment, and check out some different bird guides. We will be outdoors for this workshop. As we wander, we'll look at some of the more common birds in and around Mono Lake, practice identifying them, and learn about their fascinating natural history. Mono Lake County Park and the DeChambeau Ponds are our territory, and we should see several varieties of woodpeckers, songbirds, swallows, and blackbirds. This workshop is geared toward ages 10 and up. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 8:00am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

138: Birding the Lee Vining Creek Trail (field trip)
Krista Fanucchi
Below the town of Lee Vining is a winding riparian swath rich with cottonwood, aspen, and willow, which entice orioles, tanagers, warblers, and more in the summer. This short morning trip will walk the two-mile Lee Vining Creek trail loop to find beautiful birds and enjoy views of the rushing creek and the lake from afar. (hiking difficulty: moderate)
Friday 8:00am–10:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center

 

139: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep afield (field trip)
John Wehausen
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are a separate subspecies of bighorn sheep that have state and federal endangered species status. They were introduced to the Mono Basin in 1986. In mid-June rams have often been seen in Lundy Canyon and it may be possible to spot bighorn from the trail. John Wehausen will lead the group there and discuss the history and challenges of restoration efforts for these sheep. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: strenuous)
Friday 8:30am–1:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

141: Birding Lower Parker Canyon (field trip)
Santiago Escruceria
On this leisurely bird walk on level terrain through lower Parker Canyon we will explore riparian and meadow habitats in this quiet region of the Mono Basin. We may encounter a good variety of birds from Red-breasted Sapsucker to Mountain Bluebird and warblers to Long-eared Owl (no promises). Be prepared to walk a couple of flat, mostly shaded miles and to enjoy spectacular views of the Sierra crest and Mono Lake. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 1:00pm–5:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

143: Birding the Inyo Craters (field trip)
Krista Fanucchi
This trip will take a leisurely stroll through an old-growth Jeffrey pine forest looking for conifer specialists including nuthatches, woodpeckers, finches, and more. The destination is the Inyo Craters, a few of the region's young volcanic features formed by violent steam eruptions. The craters fill with snowmelt and offer a landing spot for migratory waterbirds. The nearby willows and other vegetation provide great habitat for warblers to forage in and hummingbirds to perch on. We may see White-headed Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Red Crossbill, and Cassin's Finch but a variety of species is expected. (est. driving miles: 50, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 1:00pm–5:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

145: Fire by friction (outdoor workshop)
Peter Bergen
For thousands of years, humankind depended upon the coals they "spun" using wood, stone, and bone. North America has a rich fire folklore that includes gathering and preparing the materials and the tinder bundles, spinning fire, and the significant role the fire plays in creating tools, containers, utensils, and more. In this class, participants will hear about this rich tradition through story, demonstration, hands-on fire spinning, and bowl and spoon crafting, all practiced at a beautiful campfire circle overlooking Mono Lake where such activities can safely be pursued. This will be a hands-on "dirt time" experience so wear comfortable clothes for sitting around your campfire. (est. driving miles: 15)
Friday 1:00pm–5:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

147: Touring policy hot spots (field trip)
Geoff McQuilkin
Join Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin for a tour of the Mono Basin with discussions focusing on hot policy and management topics as well as current water conditions and what they mean for Mono Lake and the tributary streams. Stops will include Mono Lake's tributary streams to discuss restoration streamflows, Los Angeles Aqueduct infrastructure, and to Mono Lake to discuss lake level rise. Geoff will describe the Committee's role in forecasting and advocating for the changes we're seeing and will explain the work ahead to continue to safeguard the Mono Basin. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 1:00pm–4:30pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

149: Bird sounds part 1 (indoor workshop)
Roy Poucher
Bird vocalization is nature's language and bird songs are nature's music. We can plug into this magic no matter how good we are at finding birds with our eyes—these sounds are already coming at us from 360 degrees. The focus of this workshop is to increase our birding enjoyment by improving our skills as auditory birders. Some prior experience trying to identify birds by ear will surely be useful, but motivation to learn is more important than experience; all experience levels are welcome. We will explore the principles of cognizing and describing bird vocalizations in general as well as become familiar with specific vocalizations of common birds in the Mono Basin. This workshop is a prerequisite for the Saturday and Sunday Bird sounds field studies (#203 and #303).
Friday 1:00pm–4:30pm                                                
Scenic Area Visitor Center conference room

 

151: Meet the chipmunks (field trip)
John Harris
Learn about the Mono Basin's diverse and fascinating chipmunks. Chipmunks are familiar campground inhabitants, but distinguishing the six species that inhabit the Mono Basin can be difficult. We'll check a set of live traps near Lee Vining, then visit Lee Vining Canyon looking for opportunities to observe chipmunks in the field. We should be able to see Sagebrush, Yellow Pine, and Lodgepole chipmunks and we'll discuss other good locations in the Mono Basin to look for chipmunks and other mammals that may be out during the day. Open to kids of all ages. (est. driving miles: 13, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 1:00pm–4:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

153: Lundy Canyon's rich history (field trip)
Linda LaPierre
Join Linda on a historic talk about the mining town of Lundy, located at the head of beautiful Lundy Lake, which will include many old photos (a sort of primitive PowerPoint). Then the group will take a walk up Lundy Canyon with frequent stops to discuss mining history and some of the natural features of this special place. (est. driving miles: 30, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 1:00pm–4:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

155: Branches in focus: Basic photography for birders (indoor workshop)
Vern Gersh
You spot a bright and beautiful bird, snap its picture but end up with only an out-of-focus branch where a bird once sat. Now, with just a little instruction, you can master ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focus mode.  Many amateur photographers have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a camera that they use only on the automatic setting. Think of it as a self-driving Ferrari of which you never take the wheel. Learn to take control of your camera and you can, with a little practice, end up with only an in-focus branch where a bird once sat.
Friday 1:00pm–3:00pm                                                
Mono Lake Committee Theater & Gallery

 

157: Birding Lower Lee Vining Creek (field trip)
Oliver James
Below the town of Lee Vining is a winding riparian swath rich with cottonwood, aspen, and willow, which entice orioles, tanagers, warblers, and more in the summer. This afternoon trip will walk part of the two-mile Lee Vining Creek trail loop and then head down to lower Lee Vining Creek and the Lee Vining Creek delta, where the fresh water joins the salty lake and creates a lush habitat for blackbirds, flycatchers, buntings, and sparrows, and where waterbirds bathe in the crystal clear creek. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Friday 1:30pm–5:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

159: Lundy Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Kirk Hardie
We will head up Lundy Canyon with open minds regarding what we may see, enjoying the wonderful assemblage of breeding birds of this Eastern Sierra drainage. The mixture of open water, riparian, coniferous, and sagebrush habitats found in this canyon attracts a nice diversity of birds, and these habitats are quite accessible via the main road and short trails along the creek. Since it will be the heart of nesting season, we will likely spend some time observing birds at various stages of their breeding cycles. Among the birds to be expected include sapsuckers, woodpeckers, pewees, vireos, jays, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, chickadees, grosbeaks, swallows, warblers, tanagers, juncos, towhees, sparrows, and finches. We will be walking mostly on dirt roads and trails with some light off-trail walking possible. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 1:30pm–5:00pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

161: Lakeshore family adventure (family field trip)
Michael Ross
Cool off in the afternoon heat as you investigate and compare the waters of Mono Lake and Lee Vining Creek. Observe brine shrimp, alkali flies, and birds along the lakeshore. Discover aquatic insects and songbirds along the creek. Bring towels and appropriate clothes and footwear for wading or even swimming. No charge and open to all. (est. driving miles: 10, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 1:30pm–3:30pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

163 Pyrodiversity: What is it and why does it matter for birds and other wildlife? (presentation)
Rodney Siegel
What does the Sierra Nevada's changing fire regime mean for populations of birds and other wildlife, and what can land managers do to maintain biodiversity as fire changes the landscape? We often think of the changing fire regime in terms of increases in fire size, but other fire characteristics beyond size may also be as important in shaping post-fire wildlife communities. Rodney Siegel will discuss the concept of pyrodiversity, explain why pyrodiversity matters for maintaining biodiversity in Sierra Nevada forests, and provide examples of actions or approaches land managers might take to enhance pyrodiversity to benefit wildlife.
Friday 2:00pm–3:00pm                                                
Scenic Area Visitor Center Auditorium

 

165: Birds of the Southern Ocean (presentation)
Vern Gersh and Terry McLaughlin
The Antarctic continent and South Georgia Island manifest some of the most severe weather on Earth. Storms lash beaches at any time of year, inland temperatures plummet to -80 °F for weeks, and summer lasts just four months. Yet more than 46 species of our feathered friends thrive under these conditions. We will explore the sea-based birds with reputations almost as large as their wingspan: albatross, petrels, and shearwaters. Then we will wander ashore to learn about grass-based species such as the beautiful Long-tailed Meadowlark and endemic species such as Cobb's Wren. Of course no trip to the Southern Ocean would be complete without a treatise on the seven amazingly well-adapted penguin species that manage to bring a smile to everyone.
Friday 3:30pm–4:30pm                                                
Scenic Area Visitor Center auditorium

 

167: Eighteenth annual gala dinner & gathering
Dan Molnar
Join us early Friday evening at the Lee Vining Community Center as we kick off our eighteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua! Meet old friends, chat with field trip leaders and presenters, socialize, eat, and make merry. Dinner will be prepared by local caterer Daniel Molnar of Daniel Molnar Private Catering and First Chair Food Truck.
Menu:
Yucatán chicken, achiote, and pineapple • Portobello mushroom, quinoa, and lentil gratin • Sautéed zucchini and squash in pesto sauce • Roast new potatoes with garlic, shallots, and rosemary • Green salad, honey mustard dressing, and pickled vegetables • Dinner Rolls and butter • Assorted cookies • Iced tea and water
Friday 5:00pm–7:00pm
Lee Vining Community Center

$27 additional cost

 

169: Twilight birding (field trip)
Kirk Hardie
Late June brings some of the longest and most active birding days of the year in the Mono Basin. Get ready for an early evening adventure of birding into the dusk. We will ply some active birding spots in the Mono Basin for early evening activity that may include nighthawks, poorwills, and winnowing snipe. We may even search for an owl or two once night falls. We will use our ears as well as our eyes in this nearby bird outing. Bring layered clothing for cooler weather after the sun sets. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 7:00pm–9:30pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

171: Twilight birding 2 (field trip)
Ryan DiGaudio
This program will wind its way up Lundy Canyon as the twilight sets in. Get ready for an early evening adventure of birding into the dusk. We will ply some active birding spots for early evening activity that may include poorwills, bats, and, if you're lucky, a beaver. We may even search for an owl or two once night falls. We will use our ears as well as our eyes in this nearby bird outing. Bring layered clothing for cooler weather after the sun sets and please bring a headlamp or flashlight. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Friday 7:00pm–9:30pm                                                
Lee Vining Community Center

 

173: Bats in Lee Vining Canyon (field trip)
Burleigh Lockwood and Erin Naegle
Join this field trip for an evening bat walk in Lee Vining Canyon. While waiting for darkness to fall, Burleigh Lockwood and Erin Naegle will beguile us with a captivating introduction into the biologic and behavioral world of bats. We will then head out to Lee Vining Canyon to "see" the bats using Sonobat Live acoustical monitoring equipment. This will allow us to identify each bat by species through an almost instantaneous analysis of their ultrasonic echolocation calls as they fly over. (est. driving miles: 10; hiking difficulty: easy)
Friday 7:30pm–10:00pm                                              
Scenic Area Visitor Center conference room

 

175: Mono Lake: Connecting the hemisphere through migratory birds (presentation)
Rob Clay
Dr. Clay will illustrate the network of linkages that connect Mono Lake to the rest of the hemisphere through shared migratory birds, with a particular focus on shorebirds, and underline the interdependence that exists between these networks of sites. He will report on the pivotal role that Mono Lake played in the early development of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and outline opportunities for future collaboration.
Friday 7:30pm–8:30pm                                                
Scenic Area Visitor Center Auditorium

 

177: Bugging out: The importance and joy of insect observation (presentation)
Kristie Nelson
Insects comprise of over two-thirds of Earth's terrestrial organisms, yet relatively few people pay close attention to them. In this presentation, Kristie Nelson will overview recent research on the status of insect populations, review bee and pollinator diversity, and discuss ways you can get involved in insect conservation. Declining populations or even localized extinctions of insects risk not being noticed and, unfortunately, in most areas there are little or no baseline data to track insect population trends or distribution changes; however, you can help create vital baseline data using modern technology. 
Friday 7:30pm–8:30pm                                                
Mono Lake Committee Theater & Gallery

 

179: Enchanted evening: Stories & stars on the lakeshore (evening presentation)
Ane Carla Rovetta and Lisa Murphy
In the days before internet, television, and radio, there were more Chautauquas, campfires, and storytelling. We bring them all together under the splendor of a dark Mono Basin sky where stories and stars come alive. Master storyteller Ane Carla Rovetta will usher in the creatures of the night with her vivid and illuminating natural history stories and legends. Lisa Murphy, night sky enthusiast, will lead us across the night sky for an evening of astronomical wonder. Bring a blanket or low chair and dress warmly. This program is open to humans of all ages! (est. driving miles: 22)
Friday 8:00pm–9:30pm                                                
meet at South Tufa
From Lee Vining, drive approximately five miles south on Highway 395. Turn left on Highway 120 East and travel another five miles to the South Tufa/Navy Beach turn-off. Turn left following the signs to the left toward the South Tufa parking lot.



Saturday, June 15, 2019


201: DeChambeau to Virginia Lakes (field trip)
Oliver James
We've all seen how habitats change as you make your way up a mountain pass in the Eastern Sierra. Small changes in elevation can dramatically alter bird diversity and species richness within each habitat. On this field trip, we will explore two opposite sides of the Mono Basin habitat and elevation spectrum—lakeside marsh and sagebrush scrub (~6,500 feet above sea level) and high elevation sub-alpine habitat (~9,770 feet) at Virginia Lakes. We'll also make a few stops in between to see a diversity of species in these vastly different habitats. We will start low in search of sagebrush birds like Sage Thrasher, Green-tailed Towhee, Sagebrush Sparrow, and others, then work our way up to Virginia Lakes where we hope to see and hear Hermit Thrush, White-crowned Sparrow, Bald Eagle, and, if we are very lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive Gray-crowned Rosy-finch. Bring lunch and plenty of water; we will picnic at the Virginia Lakes trailhead. (est. driving miles: 50; hiking difficulty: moderate)
Saturday 6:00am–12:00pm                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

203: Bird sounds part 2 (field study)
Roy Poucher
This field trip is the "hands-on" companion to the workshop on Friday afternoon (#149). The goal is to solidify the general techniques explored on Friday, and provide practical experience with field identification of specific Mono Basin bird sounds. We will primarily spend our time standing at different locations while silently noting on paper what bird sounds we are individually hearing, and next, as a group, discussing, analyzing, and identifying these sounds. Though useful, binoculars are not necessary. Please bring a small notebook. The Friday afternoon bird sounds workshop (#149) is a prerequisite for this event. Total walking distance will be about 1.2 miles at an elevation of up to 9,000 feet above sea level. (est. driving miles: 28, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 6:00am–11:30am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

205: Jewel of Mono: Rush Creek Delta (field trip)
Justin Hite
We will take a leisurely one-mile hike through open sagebrush to the mouth of Rush Creek where it meets Mono Lake. Along the way we will pause to study birds typical of the Great Basin desert habitat. Once at the delta we will experience an awesome setting, watch birds coming in to bathe in the fresh water, and discuss the history of Rush Creek and its importance to the health of the ecosystem of Mono Lake. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Saturday 6:00am–11:00am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

207 Big Sit (field trip)
Krista Fanucchi
Head out early with your binoculars and a camp chair and let the birds come to you! Your leader will pick a spot with a variety of habitats and views and the group will spend this leisurely trip sitting in one spot and identifying all the birds that come through. You may learn which individuals have built a nest nearby, or who is fighting for territory, while you pay careful attention to the birds within your field of view. Bring snacks, water, and a portable chair or stool. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: very easy)
Saturday 6:00am–10:00am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

209: Bodie Hills: Birds & blossoms (field trip)
Jora Fogg, Ann Howald, and April Sall
The Bodie Hills form the northern boundary of the Mono Basin and provide habitat for Bi-State Sage-Grouse and many other birds in addition to over 500 species of plants. The view from the crest of the range is one of the most awe-inspiring in all of the Eastern Sierra. We will spend the morning exploring the remains of two historic mine sites and birding in an old-growth aspen stand at Masonic. Then we'll go over the Geiger Grade to the head of Aurora Canyon to look for birds of open shrub habitats, mule deer, and pronghorn. We should see Townsend's Solitaire, MacGillivray's Warbler, nesting House Wren and Warbling Vireo, and various nuthatches and woodpeckers, among others. Many wildflowers will be blooming, and we'll look at those too. Bring sunscreen, water, lunch, and good walking shoes. This trip involves extensive driving on dirt roads. (est. driving miles: 80, high clearance required; hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 6:30am–3:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

211: Mono County Big Day (field trip)
Colin Dillingham
The main theme of this program is to observe a wide variety of birds by visiting several habitats. The pace will be less frantic than other big day birding tours so there will be more time to focus on bird identification by sight, sound, and behavior. The group will concentrate on the southern part of the Mono Basin; from conifer forest above the June Lake Loop to riparian woodland, to sagebrush steppe and the Jeffrey pine burn area near Mono Mills. Please bring hand-held radios for communication between vehicles if you have them. We will be out all day so be sure to bring lunch, sunscreen, and plenty of water. (est. driving miles: 110; hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 6:30am–3:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

213: Crowley Lake: Marshes, migrants, mountains, & mud (field trip)
Dave Shuford
Crowley Lake Reservoir, cradled in the Long Valley Caldera and formed by the damming of the Owens River, offers spectacular views of the High Sierra to the west and the Glass Mountain and White Mountain ranges to the east. Crowley is nestled amid a mix of sagebrush, wet meadows, and small alkali lakes, attracting a variety of breeding and migrant waterbirds. June is the peak of the breeding season, so we should see several species of nesting ducks, shorebirds, and grebes, plus some over-summering non-breeders and late migrants. We will also view the largest Bank Swallow colony in the Eastern Sierra, enjoy the beautiful song of the Sage Thrasher, the subtle beauty of the Brewer's Sparrow, and if we are really lucky, run into some Bi-State Sage Grouse. (est. driving miles: 80)
Saturday 6:30am–3:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

215: The road less birded: Benton Crossing Road (field trip)
Peter Metropulos
Join Peter on an adventurous journey to some spots off the beaten track. Starting at Layton Springs at the northeast side of Crowley Lake Reservoir, we will head east through vast expanses of pinyons and sage to Wildrose Canyon, an isolated riparian corridor and aspen grove in the Glass Mountain Range. Then we will travel through the Adobe Valley stopping at a couple spots to enjoy the dramatic landscape and scan the vast expanse of sage and scattered wetlands for birds typical of these habitats. On the way back to Lee Vining we will pause for a brief birding session in the pine forest at Mono Mills. Short, easy to moderate walking near vehicle stops; bring lunch, snacks, and plenty of water (est. driving miles: 100; hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 6:30am–1:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

217: Birding the Bridgeport Valley (field trip)
Ted Beedy and Keith Hansen
Join Ted and Keith for an exploration of wetlands and lake habitats of Bridgeport Reservoir. Bridgeport Reservoir sits within beautiful Bridgeport Valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Sweetwaters. Waterfowl, grebes in courtship, terns, pelicans, and shorebirds grace the surface and shores of this popular fishing reservoir that also attracts a diversity of raptors such as Bald Eagle and Osprey. A pair of Sandhill Cranes has been nesting at Bridgeport Reservoir and there is a chance of seeing or hearing these rare Mono County birds. Participants typically see more than 50 species of birds on this field trip. (est. driving miles: 65, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 6:30am–11:30am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

219: Birds & burns (field trip)
Stephen Shunk
Our forests evolved with fire as an essential ecological process—from fire comes life. Healthy forests burn, and they regenerate themselves after fire; they are well adapted to this type of disturbance. The term "forest" here refers to all the organisms within. Each year—and each decade—after a fire brings a succession of birds adapted to the changing landscape. And woodpeckers are keystones in the sustainability of these recovering forests. Join this field trip for an interpretive journey through one of the Eastern Sierra's most under-appreciated ecosystems and an introduction to local forest ecology, including the critical role of fire and the keystone roles of forest-dwelling woodpeckers. Wandering through blackened columns left by lightning-caused fires, we'll discover a new world of wildflowers, sprouting shrubs, and once-proud pines fast becoming homes for Black-backed and Hairy woodpeckers and a whole suite of other cavity-dwellers. Expect several moderate meanders for a total of approximately three miles. (est. driving miles: 50, hiking difficulty: moderate to strenuous)
Saturday 7:00am–12:30pm                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

221: Snag forest bird walk (field trip)
Maya Khosla
On this trip we'll explore recently burned forests through both a scientific and an artistic lens. Maya Khosla will be pleased to take birdwatchers into worlds that are all but hidden—among "the best-kept secrets of our forests." As we walk in the field, we'll discuss exciting, new scientific findings based on 2018 and 2019 searches for nests (including Black-backed Woodpecker nests), and Maya, Sonoma County Poet Laureate, will share new poetry along the way. We will look for snag-dependent birds like White-headed, Hairy, Lewis', Black-backed woodpeckers, Williamson's Sapsucker, and secondary cavity nesters like Mountain Bluebird and Tree Swallow. We'll discuss the many ways that mixed-intensity fire supports biodiversity and ecological health in our conifer forests, and a habitat created by high-intensity fire called "complex early seral forest," which is the rarest, most biodiverse, and yet the most threatened of all forest habitat types in the Sierra Nevada. (est. total driving miles: 55, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 7:00am–12:00pm                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

223: Birding the June Lake Loop (field trip)
Mike Prather
This beautiful driving loop has a variety of habitats—open water (lakes) with shorelines, aspen riparian, marsh (emergent vegetation), mountain sagebrush-scrub, and coniferous forest. Our birds will vary with each habitat from waterbirds to woodpeckers. This is a drive and short stroll outing. (est. driving miles: 30, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 7:00am–12:00pm                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

225: Birding Horse Meadow (field trip)
Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn
Horse Meadow is perched up among moraines south of Lee Vining Canyon, situated between stunning views of Mt. Dana and Mt. Gibbs, and a gorgeous, bird's-eye view of Mono Lake. In this less-traveled area of the Mono Basin our walk will explore Upper Horse Meadow and environs, including the mix of meadow, sagebrush, aspen, and conifer forest habitats, which often provides a wide range of bird sightings. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 7:00am–11:30am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

227: Birding Burger's Retreat (field trip)
Will Richardson
We'll drive up and over a steep moraine out of Lee Vining Canyon on our way to a privately-owned secluded nature reserve only a short distance from the masses of visitors passing through Yosemite. We'll stroll through a rich variety of habitats including sagebrush, meadow, willow thickets, aspen groves, conifers, and rocks. Green-tailed Towhee, woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers, and many others may make an appearance. (est. driving miles: 6, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 7:00am–11:00am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

229: Lundy Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Sarah Hockensmith
Spend a morning enjoying birds and other wildlife in one of the Mono Basin's most spectacular locations—Lundy Canyon. The mixture of aspen-cottonwood-willow riparian habitat with mature conifers provides prime habitat for a variety of Eastern Sierra birds. The awesome scenery, including displays of wildflowers, picturesque historical sites, beaver lodges, butterflies, and breathtaking rocky peaks should provide additional flavor to the outing. During one to two miles of walking, we will make a special effort to locate nesting birds, as well as to locate birds by song. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 7:00am–11:00am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

231: Convict Lake bird walk (field trip)
Mary Clapp
Mile-long Convict Lake, located at 7,600 feet above sea level about 40 miles south of Lee Vining, lies in a glacial basin under Laurel Mountain and Mt. Morrison, two towering metamorphic peaks. The trail encircling the lake goes through a range of habitats. Expect to see many characteristic Eastern Sierra birds including Yellow Warbler, House Wren, Green-tailed Towhee, Dusky Flycatcher, and Red-breasted Sapsucker. Other species ranging from Calliope Hummingbird to Bald Eagle may also be found. Convict Creek, which can be viewed safely from a boardwalk, roars into the west end of the lake. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring your binoculars and a snack. A walking stick is helpful for short sections of the trail. (est. driving miles: 80, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 7:30am–12:30pm                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

233: Birding the Lakes Canyon trail (field trip)
Kirk Hardie
This hike begins in the sagebrush at the Lundy Lake dam at about 7,800 feet in elevation and will take us steadily uphill above the south shore of the lake through willow, aspen, and conifer groves. Because of the variety of habitats we'll be visiting we should see and hear a variety of bird species, including multiple species of warblers, Fox Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, woodpeckers, Warbling Vireo, and others. We will not trek all the way to the lakes but will stop at an elevation of about 8,800 feet near the wilderness boundary. This is a moderately strenuous hike (up to three miles round trip) with spectacular views of lakes, streams, and high peaks. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: strenuous)
Saturday 7:30am–12:00noon                                    
Lee Vining Community Center

 

235: Young birders club (field trip)
Nora Livingston
This exciting field trip is meant to inspire the next generation of birders to get outside and feel empowered within the birding community. We will seek out a variety of birds in several habitats and learn not only how to identify them but also a bit about their natural history along the way. Tips about how to use eBird and how to get involved in birding activities in your own communities will be generously shared, along with stories from Nora's beginnings as a teen birder. Ages 10–20 are welcome, along with parent chaperones. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Saturday 7:30am–11:30am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

237: Lee Vining Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Sarah Stock
Lee Vining Canyon is one of the Eastern Sierra's premier birding locations. It offers a variety of habitats and breathtaking views. Of particular interest is the habitat progression as Lee Vining Creek drains from the high alpine mountains of Yosemite and Tioga Pass down through the canyon and out into the arid sagebrush scrub surrounding Mono Lake. American Dipper, Townsend's Solitaire, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, and nesting bluebirds, swallows, and woodpeckers are among the many highlights that we may see on this trip. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 7:30am–11:30am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

239: Birds & butterflies (field trip)
Kristie Nelson
This trip will focus on the birds and butterflies of the region. At the convergence of the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada, the Mono Basin is a prime birding hotspot where an astounding variety of species can be observed—this area has one of the highest diversities of butterflies in temperate North America. The Tioga Pass region alone has the highest diversity of Coppers in the world, a charming group of gorgeous little butterflies. We will visit multiple habitats in order to see and appreciate this region's unique assemblage of birds and butterflies. Be prepared for moderate hiking, some at near 10,000 feet above sea level; bring layered clothing and a lunch. (est. driving miles: 75, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Saturday 8:00am–4:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

240: Los Angeles Aqueduct tour (field trip)
Bartshé Miller
Join Mono Lake Committee Eastern Sierra Policy Director Bartshé Miller for a focused field investigation of the north end of the LA aqueduct system. We'll visit a few of the major aqueduct facilities in the Mono Basin, and learn about their modern relationship with Los Angeles, Mono Lake, and its tributary streams. This field trip will provide a great overview of the Mono Basin system, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and a few of the historical, engineering, and ecological anecdotes that make up this fascinating water infrastructure. Bring your binoculars because we won't ignore the birds! (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 8:00am–11:00am                                        
Lee Vining Community Center

 

241: Ghosts, guns, & gold: Bodie revealed (field trip)
Terri Geissinger
Bodie, one of California's most famous state parks, was once known as the most lawless, wildest, and toughest mining camp in the West and boasted a population of 8,500 people in the 1880s. Join Terri, a Bodie Foundation historian and guide, for a fascinating walk through town and hear stories about the characters who lived in this legendary settlement. We'll then get a special tour through the 110-year-old stamp mill that processed much of the gold and silver, and still houses some of the original equipment. The weather at this 8,400-foot elevation can be unpredictable so wear sunscreen and dress in layers. (est. driving miles: 62, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 1:00pm–6:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

243: Touring policy hot spots (field trip)
Geoff McQuilkin
Join Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin for a tour of the Mono Basin with discussions focusing on hot policy and management topics as well as current water conditions and what they mean for Mono Lake and the tributary streams. Stops will include Mono Lake's tributary streams to discuss restoration streamflows, Los Angeles Aqueduct infrastructure, and to Mono Lake to discuss lake level rise. Geoff will describe the Committee's role in forecasting and advocating for the changes we're seeing and will explain the work ahead to continue to safeguard the Mono Basin. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 1:00pm–4:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

245: Mindfulness in nature: A deep nature connection adventure (outdoor workshop)
Peter Bergen
This full immersion "dirt time" experience into the natural world is an invitation to spend a day in the field exploring, grounding, and having fun connecting with our own wild and true selves, one another, and the natural world. This curiosity and passion-led program for adults provides unforgettable experiences, while developing an appreciation for the beautiful and wild places of the Mono Basin. "Dirt time" means hands-on fun, so be prepared to get a little dusty and dirty!
Saturday 1:00pm–4:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

247: Raptors of the Sierra (indoor workshop)
Jim Woods
Raptors are highly intriguing members of the bird world. This presentation will focus on the life history of the hawks, Accipiters, falcons, and eagles that are common in the Mono Basin and Bridgeport Valley. The program will include a number of taxidermy mounts for identification and discussion.  
Saturday 1:00pm–2:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

249: Lundy Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Scott Dietrich
We will head up Lundy Canyon with open minds regarding what we may see, enjoying the wonderful assemblage of breeding birds. The mixture of open water, riparian, coniferous, and sagebrush habitats found in this canyon attracts a nice diversity of birds, and these habitats are quite accessible via the main road and short trails along the creek. Since it will be the heart of nesting season, we will likely spend some time observing birds at various stages of their breeding cycles. Among the birds expected include sapsuckers, woodpeckers, pewees, vireos, jays, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, chickadees, grosbeaks, swallows, warblers, tanagers, juncos, towhees, sparrows, and finches. We will be walking mostly on dirt roads and trails with some light off-trail walking possible. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 1:30pm–5:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

251: Birding the June Lake Loop (field trip)
Ryan DiGaudio
Join this field trip for an afternoon birding tour of the scenic June Lake Loop. The route covers a variety of habitats and therefore we should see a variety of birds. Reservoirs such as Grant Lake may hold lingering loons or mergansers. Mountain conifer and riparian aspen are home to many species—Mountain Chickadee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, and many more. (est. driving miles: 35, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 2:00pm–7:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

253: Birds of the red fir-lodgepole pine forest (field trip)
David Wimpfheimer
The expansive forest of red fir, lodgepole, and Jeffrey pine surrounding Deadman Creek and Summit is the destination for this field trip. These conifers, and more importantly, their cones and seeds, provide critical feeding habitat for many finches, woodpeckers, warblers, and other birds. Uncommon species like Williamson's Sapsucker, plus White-headed and Black-backed woodpeckers can be found here. Depending on the seed crop, Red Crossbill can be moderately common in the pines. Cassin's Finch and Pine Siskin are the common breeding finches here, but we'll also be searching for Evening and Pine Grosbeaks. The diversity in the area is augmented by aspen groves and streamside willow stands where Green-tailed Towhee, Fox Sparrow, and Orange-crowned and MacGillivray's warblers breed. The field trip will consist of several short walks in which we focus on identification and behavior of a wide variety of birds. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 2:00pm–6:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

255: Birding Lower Parker Canyon (field trip)
Santiago Escruceria
On this leisurely bird walk on level terrain through lower Parker Canyon we will explore riparian and meadow habitats in this quiet region of the Mono Basin. We may encounter a good variety of birds from Red-breasted Sapsucker to Mountain Bluebird and warblers to Long-eared Owl (no promises). Be prepared to walk a couple of flat, mostly shaded miles and to enjoy spectacular views of the Sierra crest and Mono Lake. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 2:00pm–5:30pm                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

257: Fields' guide to Osprey (field trip)
Lisa Fields
We will drive to South Tufa where we will walk to Mono Lake to view active Osprey nests, discuss why a fish-eating bird is living at a fishless lake, and talk about Osprey natural history. South Tufa is the best area to view active nests and if we are lucky the chicks will be large enough to offer us a glimpse. Updates to the current research will also be discussed, which includes some dispersal, migration, and local foraging data thanks in part to Chautauqua grants for banding and telemetry study. We may adjust our route (and possibly our location) based upon current Osprey activity. We will be in exposed areas without shade so please bring a hat, water, and sunscreen. (est. driving miles: 22, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 2:00pm–5:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

259: A bird's-eye view of bugs (field trip)
Michael Ross
As birds know, the world is full of tasty bugs and a few yucky ones. With "bird eyes" we'll search in Lee Vining Canyon for bugs on the ground, leaves, bark, soil, and in the air, and maybe even take a taste test. Open to kids of all ages and parents. No charge and open to all. (est. driving miles: 5)
Saturday 2:00pm–4:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

261: Mar Chiquita: Is its future secured? (presentation)
Hernán Casañas
One of the most important stopovers for migratory birds in the Americas is in danger: Lake Mar Chiquita. Hernán Casañas will share Mar Chiquita's attractions and the work being done to protect it as part of the largest national park in Argentina.
Saturday 2:00pm–3:00pm                                           
Scenic Area Visitor Center Auditorium

 

263: Furry and footed: Deciphering signs of mammals in the Eastern Sierra (workshop)
Burleigh Lockwood
What can you tell from fur, feet, and teeth? What "sign" will tell you what animal was there before you? Native mammals will be discussed, using skulls, fur, natural history, and the signs those animals leave. Interpretation of what you see, and what you might not see, is important for understanding the animals that live in our own backyards. For kids of all ages.
Saturday 2:30pm–4:00pm                                           
Scenic Area Visitor Center conference room

 

265: Conservation status of phalaropes in the Western Hemisphere: An international panel discussion
Bartshé Miller (moderator) with Ryan Carle, Hernán Casañas, Marcella Castellino, and Rob Clay
Phalaropes are iconic at Mono Lake. They unite the western hemisphere's saline lake habitats with their impressive migrations from Canada to South America. Despite numerous serious threats across their range, their conservation status is not well understood. This international panel discussion will host a few researchers at the forefront of conservation and research efforts for phalaropes at Mono Lake and in South America, especially from Laguna Mar Chiquita in Argentina, where efforts are underway to create a national park at one of their most important wintering sites. They will discuss what the scientific community knows now and what they are hoping to find out. Bartshé Miller will moderate.
Saturday 3:30pm–4:30pm                                           
Scenic Area Visitor Center Auditorium

 

267: Snag forest bird walk (field trip)
Maya Khosla
On this trip we'll explore recently burned forests through both a scientific and an artistic lens. Maya Khosla will be pleased to take birdwatchers into worlds that are all but hidden—among "the best-kept secrets of our forests." As we walk in the field, we'll discuss exciting, new scientific findings based on 2018 and 2019 searches for nests (including Black-backed Woodpecker nests), and Maya, Sonoma County Poet Laureate, will share new poetry along the way. We will look for snag-dependent birds like White-headed, Hairy, Lewis', Black-backed woodpeckers, Williamson's Sapsucker and secondary cavity nesters like Mountain Bluebird and Tree Swallow. We'll discuss the many ways that mixed-intensity fire supports biodiversity and ecological health in our conifer forests, and a habitat created by high-intensity fire called "complex early seral forest," which is the rarest, most biodiverse, and yet the most threatened of all forest habitat types in the Sierra Nevada. (est. total driving miles: 55, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Saturday 4:00pm–8:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

268: The edge of night (field trip)
Karen Amstutz
Twilight belongs to birds and mysteries …and the curious birder. Awaken your vespertine senses as we stroll in the gloaming in search of owls, nighthawks, poorwills, swifts and other crepuscular beings around the north shore of Mono Lake. We will wander as the sun sets in the rocky and historic drama of Rattlesnake Gulch and around Lundy Canyon’s edges being swept up in the excitement of day’s end. Habitat types include Great Basin sagebrush, unique willow and cottonwood arroyos, aspen forests and historic buildings. Bring warm layers, drinking water, snacks. (est. driving miles: 25. Hiking difficulty: moderate)
Saturday 5:00pm–9:00pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

269: Twilight birding (field trip)
Ted Beedy and Keith Hansen
Late June brings some of the longest and most active birding days of the year in the Mono Basin. Get ready for an early evening adventure of birding into the dusk. We will ply some active birding spots in the Mono Basin for early evening activity that may include shorebirds, waterfowl, nighthawks, poorwills, and winnowing snipe. We may even search for an owl or two once night falls. We will use our ears as well as our eyes in this nearby bird outing. Bring layered clothing for cooler weather after the sun sets. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 7:00pm–9:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

271: Twilight birding 2 (field trip)
Colin Dillingham
This program will take a similar path in a different direction to its sister field trip (above). Get ready for an early evening adventure of birding into the dusk. We will ply some active birding spots in the Mono Basin for early evening activity that may include shorebirds, waterfowl, nighthawks, poorwills, and winnowing snipe. We'll travel to DeChambeau Ponds to observe the "changing of the guards" for mosquito abatement from swallows to bats. We will use our ears as well as our eyes in this nearby bird outing. Bring layered clothing for cooler weather, headlamps, and mosquito repellent to fend off the survivors of the swallow and bat brigade. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 7:00pm–9:30pm                                           
Lee Vining Community Center

 

273: Rendering images onto scratchboard (workshop)
Ane Carla Rovetta
The British invented "scraper board" as a tool in zoological illustration. "Scratchboard" to Americans, it is a beautiful and forgiving medium producing crisp graphics with a unique charm. We will use both black and white scratchboard as well as experiment with some of Ane Carla Rovetta's unusual variations.
Saturday 7:00pm–8:30pm                                           
Scenic Area Visitor Center conference room 

 

275: Falling for flycatchers: From the temperate zone to the tropics (evening presentation)
Stephen Shunk
Mention flycatchers to North American birders and many will change the subject. Some birders might argue about the lumping and splitting of species in the Empidonax genus—the "Empids"—and others may tell you about their favorite backyard phoebe family. No doubt, flycatchers can pose some tricky identification challenges, especially in North America, where so many look so much alike. Beyond the identification problems, however, flycatchers have fun stories to tell. From our own temperate latitudes to the neotropics, the New World flycatchers represent the world's largest—and one of the most fascinating—families of birds.
Saturday 7:30pm–8:30pm                                          
Scenic Area Visitor Center auditorium

 

277: Climate change challenges: Timing mismatches and carry-over effects (evening presentation)
Tom Hahn
Climate change is responsible for population declines in many species, often through habitat loss. Rapidly changing conditions can also cause population declines by disrupting animals' ability to time important events like migration and reproduction appropriately. Timing mismatches occur when animals fail to coordinate important events like breeding with key conditions, such as a seasonal peak in food availability. Carry-over effects occur when the timing of one life cycle stage (e.g., breeding) degrades the success of subsequent stages (e.g., plumage molt) through a domino effect. The impacts can be particularly acute for long-distance migratory birds that must time precisely their use of widely dispersed locations. Timing mismatches and carry-over effects are exacerbated by climate change, and need to be added to the litany of challenges our activities present to our fellow travelers on Planet Earth.
Saturday 7:30pm–8:30pm                                           
Mono Lake Committee Theater & Gallery

 

279: Bats in Lee Vining Canyon (field trip)
Burleigh Lockwood and Lisa Murphy
Join this field trip for an evening bat walk in Lee Vining Canyon. While waiting for darkness to fall, Burleigh Lockwood and Lisa Murphy will beguile us with a captivating introduction into the biologic and behavioral world of bats. We will then head out to Lee Vining Canyon to "see" the bats using Sonobat Live acoustical monitoring equipment. This will allow us to identify each bat by species through an almost instantaneous analysis of their ultrasonic echolocation calls as they fly over. (est. driving miles: 10; hiking difficulty: easy)
Saturday 7:30pm–10:00pm                                        

Lee Vining Community Center

Sunday, June 16, 2019


301: Birding the June Lake Loop (field trip)
Oliver James
Join this field trip for a birding tour of the scenic June Lake Loop. The route covers a variety of habitats and therefore we should see a variety of bird species. Reservoirs such as Grant Lake may hold lingering loons or mergansers. Mountain conifer and riparian aspen are home to many species—Mountain Chickadee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, and many more. We may also explore the June Lake burn area near Highway 395, which will undoubtedly yield woodpecker species. (est. driving miles: 35, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 6:00am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

303: Bird sounds part 2 (field study)
Roy Poucher
This field trip is the "hands-on" companion to the workshop on Friday afternoon (#149). The goal is to solidify the general techniques explored on Friday, and provide practical experience with field identification of specific Mono Basin bird sounds. We will primarily be standing at different locations for short time segments, silently noting on paper what bird sounds we are individually hearing, and next, as a group, discussing, analyzing, and identifying these sounds. Though useful, binoculars are not necessary. Please bring a small notebook. The Friday afternoon bird sounds workshop (#149) is a prerequisite for this event. Total walking distance will be about two miles with some moderately strenuous terrain at an elevation of up to 8,500 feet above sea level. (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Sunday 6:00am–11:00am                                                  
Lee Vining Community Center

 

305: Big Sit (field trip)
Savannah Boiano
Head out early with your binoculars and a camp chair and let the birds come to you! Your leader will pick a spot with a variety of habitats and views and the group will spend this leisurely trip sitting in one spot and identifying all the birds that come through. You may learn which individuals have built a nest nearby, or who is fighting for territory, while you pay careful attention to the birds within your field of view. Bring snacks, water, and a portable chair or stool. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: very easy)
Sunday 6:00am–10:00am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

307: Birding the Bridgeport Valley (field trip)
Ted Beedy
Join Ted for an exploration of wetlands and lake habitats of Bridgeport Reservoir. Bridgeport Reservoir sits within beautiful Bridgeport Valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Sweetwater range. Waterfowl, grebes in courtship, terns, pelicans, and shorebirds grace the surface and shores of this popular fishing reservoir that also attracts a diversity of raptors such as Bald Eagle and Osprey. A pair of Sandhill Cranes has been nesting at Bridgeport Reservoir and there is a chance of seeing or hearing these rare Mono County birds. Participants typically see more than 50 species of birds on this field trip. (est. driving miles: 65, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 6:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

309: Wing beats around the basin (field trip)
Jim Woods
This field trip will follow the highways and byways of the Bridgeport Valley in search of raptors and other birds.  Bring your binos, spotting scopes, cameras, and bird books for a fun time of trying to identify the same bird as several different species. (est. driving miles: 65, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 6:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

311: Birding Antelope Valley & Topaz Lake (field trip)
Colin Dillingham
We will caravan to the southern tip of Antelope Valley and investigate cottonwood riparian, agriculture, and sage-juniper-pinyon pine woodlands. Pinyon Jay and Willow Flycatcher are likely, as well as raptors, sparrows, and neotropical migrants. We will search for elusive Juniper Titmouse. After a couple of hours in the valley, we'll travel north to the southern part of Topaz Lake where we will use spotting scopes to scan the lake. We will end our trip at Topaz Lake. (est. driving miles to and from Lee Vining: 130, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 6:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

313: Snag forest bird walk (field trip)
Maya Khosla
On this trip we'll explore recently burned forests through both a scientific and an artistic lens. Maya Khosla will be pleased to take birdwatchers into worlds that are all but hidden—among "the best-kept secrets of our forests." As we walk in the field, we'll discuss exciting, new scientific findings based on 2018 and 2019 searches for nests (including Black-backed Woodpecker nests), and Maya, Sonoma County Poet Laureate, will share new poetry along the way. We will look for snag-dependent birds like White-headed, Hairy, Lewis', Black-backed woodpeckers, Williamson's Sapsucker and secondary cavity nesters like Mountain Bluebird and Tree Swallow. We'll discuss the many ways that mixed-intensity fire supports biodiversity and ecological health in our conifer forests, and a habitat created by high-intensity fire called "complex early seral forest," which is the rarest, most biodiverse, and yet the most threatened of all forest habitat types in the Sierra Nevada. (est. total driving miles: 55, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Sunday 6:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

315: After the fire: Birding Bohler Canyon (field trip)
Alissa Fogg
For years we've led Chautauqua field trips to one of the Mono Basin's lesser-visited treasures, Bohler Canyon. This area burned in the Walker Fire (August 2015), so the old aspen stands are now scorched and the sagebrush is gone, but this treasure is not destroyed—in fact, it is bustling with birds, and a diversity of wildflowers and dense aspen sprouts are flourishing after the fire. This year's walk will focus on how habitat transitions after fire and what it means for the wildlife that inhabit it. We will see cavity nesters like woodpeckers, swallows, bluebirds, and wrens, as well as Lazuli Bunting, Western Wood-Pewee, and more. (est. driving miles: 10, high clearance helpful; hiking difficulty: moderate)
Sunday 6:30am–10:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

317: Birding South Tufa & the Jeffrey pine forest (field trip)
Scott Dietrich
In a small area around the southwest shore of Mono Lake we'll find birds that nest in sagebrush scrub and in dry, mature coniferous forest. These may include Lewis' Woodpecker, Gray Flycatcher, Violet-green Swallow, Pinyon Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Rock Wren, Sage Thrasher, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, and Brewer's and Sagebrush sparrows. We'll also identify and talk about shoreline waterbirds. (est. driving miles: 30, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 7:00am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

319: Behavior, physiology, & natural history of High Sierra birds (field trip)
Tom Hahn
This trip will make a couple of stops in Lee Vining Canyon on the way up into the Tioga Pass vicinity, and will provide a great opportunity to observe many of the birds of the eastern slope and Sierra crest. We'll use the species we find as jumping-off points to talk about the various research on physiology and behavior of high-elevation birds that has been done over the past 40 years around Tioga Pass, with particular emphasis on how the steep eastern escarpment provides opportunities for small birds to escape life-threatening weather, and how residents and migrants orchestrate their annual schedules of breeding, plumage molt, and migration in this capricious environment. We'll make a particular effort to find, observe, and discuss the natural history of Mountain White-crowned Sparrow, Dusky Flycatcher, Hermit Thrush, Cassin's Finch, and Rock Wren, and we'll keep our eyes and ears peeled for Gray-crowned Rosy-finch, Pine Siskin, and Red Crossbill—all of which have been studied in the area (some since 1968). (est. driving miles: 20, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Sunday 7:00am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

321: Lundy Canyon bird walk (field trip)
Karen Amstutz
Spend a morning enjoying birds and other wildlife in one of the Mono Basin's most spectacular locations—Lundy Canyon. The mixture of aspen-cottonwood-willow riparian habitat with mature conifers provides prime habitat for a variety of Eastern Sierra birds. The awesome scenery, including displays of wildflowers, picturesque historical sites, beaver lodges, butterflies, and breathtaking rocky peaks will provide additional flavor to the outing. During one to two miles of walking we will make a special effort to locate nesting birds, as well as to locate birds by song. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Sunday 7:00am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

323: Cavity nesters of Lee Vining Canyon (field trip)
Stephen Shunk
The aspen groves and coniferous uplands in Lee Vining Canyon support an abundance of cavity-nesting birds. In some stands, it seems that every available cavity is occupied by a chickadee, nuthatch, swallow, or wren, not to mention the carpenters who create the cavities: the amazing woodpeckers. On this field trip, we will explore the riparian richness along Lee Vining Creek. We will make a few key stops in the canyon, wandering through aspen galleries and pine stands as Steve Shunk interprets the natural history of these local avian habitats. In addition to studying the cavity nesters, we will also enjoy a host of other nesting songbirds, including MacGillivray's Warbler, Western Tanager, Bullock's Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak, and many more. Expect leisurely walks along well-used roads and trails. (est. driving miles: 35, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 7:00am–11:00am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

325: Birding Rush Creek Delta (field trip)
Peter Metropulos
We will take a leisurely one-mile hike through open sagebrush to the mouth of Rush Creek where we will enjoy a unique perspective of the Mono Basin. Along the way we will pause to study birds typical of the Great Basin desert habitat. Once at the delta we will experience an awesome setting, watch birds coming in to bathe in the fresh water, and discuss the history of Rush Creek and its importance to the health of the ecosystem of Mono Lake. (est. driving miles: 15, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Sunday 7:00am–11:00am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

327: Mono dunes critter caper (field trip)
John Harris
Spend the morning checking live-traps and track plots to discover Mono's desert mammal fauna. We will be trapping in the dunes on the northeast side of the lake, an environment that also supports Utah juniper woodlands. We should see a number of the small mammals that characterize the Great Basin, including the dark kangaroo mouse, Ord's and Panamint kangaroo rats, Great Basin pocket mouse, pinyon mouse, and sagebrush chipmunk. During this ever-popular trip, we'll also keep our eyes and ears open for some of the Eastside bird specialties of the area including Sage Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, Juniper Titmouse, and Gray Flycatcher. Open to kids of all ages. (est. driving miles: 40, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 7:00am–11:00am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

329: Birding Burger's Retreat (field trip)
Dave Shuford
We'll drive up and over a steep moraine out of Lee Vining Canyon, with spectacular views of Mt. Dana and beyond, on our way to a privately-owned secluded nature reserve only a short distance from the masses of visitors passing through Yosemite. We'll stroll through a rich variety of habitats including sagebrush, meadow, willow thickets, aspen groves, conifers, and rock outcroppings. Green-tailed Towhee, woodpeckers, warblers, and many others may make an appearance. (est. driving miles: 6, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 7:00am–10:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

331: Green Creek songbirds in bear heaven (field trip)
Susanna Danner, Sara Kokkelenberg, and Kay Ogden
This is your opportunity to see songbirds, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and maybe even bear tracks on a private ranch in Bridgeport Valley. Green Creek is a tributary to the East Walker River, and its headwaters are the crest of the Sierra and the boundary of Yosemite National Park. This steep, bounding stream runs through Bi-State Sage-Grouse habitat, including this private cattle ranch where the owners have placed a conservation easement, protecting it in perpetuity. You'll walk beside Green Creek through a light-dappled riparian forest, cross the creek (please bring shoes you don't mind wading through knee-high water in—there is no bridge), and enter an aspen grove and buffaloberry shrubland on the edge of the valley's expansive wet meadows. You'll also learn about the rich cultural history of Green Creek and the private land conservation history of Bridgeport Valley. (est. driving miles: 46, hiking difficulty: moderate)
Sunday 7:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center
Approximately 30 minute drive each way to Green Creek.

 

333: Exploring the Mono Basin (field trip)
Greg Stock
Join Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock for a combination driving and hiking tour of the stunning geology of the Mono Basin. From volcanic craters to glacial moraines, massive mountains to tufa towers, the Mono Basin holds some of the most spectacular and accessible geology anywhere in the world. This field trip will present, in understandable fashion, the geologic stories behind such scenic wonders as Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, Lee Vining Canyon, and Tioga Pass. If you've ever wanted to know more about what formed the diverse landscapes of the Mono Basin, this trip is for you. (est. driving miles: 35, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Sunday 7:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

335: Walk quietly & carry a big lens on Sunday too (field trip)
Santiago Escruceria
Join this trip for an easily accessible and gentle stroll next to a beautiful riparian corridor to photograph birds. With our own cameras we will look for Osprey, orioles, finches, wrens, swallows, and eagles. We will investigate basic wildlife photography technique and take advantage of morning light. (est. driving miles: 22, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 7:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

337: Exploring Rattlesnake Gulch (field trip)
David Wimpfheimer
This unique area, the oldest known gold mining site in the Eastern Sierra, is a quiet, dramatic place unlike any other location in the Mono Basin. A riparian habitat of willow and aspen holds typical breeding species such as Calliope Hummingbird, MacGillivray's Warbler, and Green-tailed Towhee. Adjacent sagebrush and bitterbrush habitat offers a different group of birds. Rocky expanses and unlimited vistas provide good raptor watching. This is a fun and scenic area with lots of great boulders and old cabins that will not only interest birders, but photographers as well. (est. driving miles: 25, hiking difficulty: easy to moderate)
Sunday 7:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

339: Fields' guide to Osprey (field trip)
Lisa Fields
We will drive to South Tufa where we will walk down to the lake to view active Osprey nests, discuss why a fish-eating bird is living on a fishless lake, and answer questions about Osprey natural history. South Tufa is the best area to view active nests and if we are lucky the chicks will be large enough to offer us a glimpse. Updates to the current research will also be discussed, which includes some dispersal, migration, and local foraging data thanks in part to Chautauqua grants for the banding and telemetry study. We may adjust our route (and possibly our location) based on current Osprey activity. We will be in sunny areas without shade so please bring a hat, water, and sunscreen. Open to kids of all ages. (driving miles: 22, hiking difficulty: easy)
Sunday 8:30am–11:30am                                            
Lee Vining Community Center

 

341: Capturing birds with pencil & paper (workshop)
Keith Hansen
Join Keith for a session of bird illustration. Learn to capture birds on paper with techniques that will aid and enhance your experiences while birding. Whether you want to render quick impressions of birds in the field for your notebook, or create something of beauty that you have seen, this class will help you to achieve that goal. With step-by-step demonstrations, Keith will cover many elements, including basic anatomy and form, perspective, foreshortening, effects of lighting, negative space, background contrast, and others that will give you a good foundation for rendering your own images. From beginner to expert, this class will aid in and increase your overall enjoyment of your time spent in nature.
Materials to bring:
• Any kind of notebook or sketch pad you would like.
• 2 or 3 pencils with various hardness from medium to soft.
• Razor blade/sharp pocket knife as well as some "not too rough" sandpaper for keeping pencils sharp.
• An eraser, either an "Art Gum" or "Magic Rub."
Sunday 9:00am–11:30am                                              
Lee Vining Community Center



Picnic & music at Mono Lake County Park
(and the bird calling contest)
Join us Sunday afternoon for a picnic in the park complete with live music. This is a perfect way to kick off your summer by enjoying lunch, relaxing in the green shady glow of County Park, and immersing yourself in music. Feel free to bring your own lunch or consider purchasing lunch for $10 at County Park, which benefits Lee Vining High School. We'll continue our traditional bird calling contest. Come enjoy good food and live music with new and old friends as we recap the weekend's bird sightings or steal away down the boardwalk for a last-minute glimpse of the birds. This is a great way to end the Chautauqua! A fun event for people of all ages.

This year’s live musical guest: Full Blast Band

Sunday beginning at 12:00noon
Mono Lake County Park

To get to County Park from Lee Vining, head north on Highway 395 approximately 5 miles and turn right on Cemetery Road. Go down the hill and look for parking directions. Carpooling from Lee Vining is highly recommended.




Other things to do during Chautauqua week


Birding at Mono Lake County Park & Tufa State Natural Reserve boardwalk
Wrens, warblers, woodpeckers, and waterbirds can be seen in this rich variety of habitats. We'll make our way from the sagebrush through the old cottonwoods, around the willow thickets, and down the boardwalk to the shoreline of Mono Lake. Led by a Mono Lake Committee naturalist. Open to kids of all ages.
Friday 8:00am–10:00am. No registration required.
Sunday 8:00am–10:00am. No registration required.

Meet in the parking lot at Mono Lake County Park.

Strange waters: South Tufa walk
Discover the unique waters and wildlife of Mono Lake at South Tufa off Highway 120 east. It is an easy, 1-mile, 1.5-hour walk with a naturalist among the spectacular tufa towers on the lakeshore. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and binoculars. Entrance fee is $3.00 per person for a one-week pass. Visitors ages 15 and under are admitted free. Open to kids of all ages.
Saturday 1:00pm–2:30pm. No registration required.
Sunday 1:00pm–2:30pm. No registration required.

Meet at the South Tufa site. From Lee Vining, drive approximately 5 miles south on Hwy 395. Turn left on Hwy 120 East and travel another 5 miles to the South Tufa/Navy Beach turn-off. Turn left following the signs to the left toward the South Tufa parking lot.

 

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore
The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore offers a free film, educational exhibits, and an art exhibit. You'll also find an excellent selection of regional books, maps, T-shirts, posters, local crafts, and specialty gifts. The Committee also houses the Lee Vining Chamber of Commerce with information on lodging, dining, and recreation opportunities as well as weather and road conditions.
The Mono Lake Committee will be open from 8:00am–9:00pm daily during the Chautauqua, call (760) 647-6595 for more information.

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center
The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center features an excellent view of Mono Lake, interpretive displays, natural history trails, and the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association bookstore. Make sure to check it all out during the Chautauqua! The dramatic Mono Lake film Of Ice and Fire will be shown in the theater when possible. Call (760) 647-3044 for more information. A great place for kids of all ages.
The Visitor Center will be open 8:00am–9:00pm on Friday and Saturday with the exhibit hall closing at 6:00pm during the Chautauqua.
Regular Visitor Center hours are 8:00am–5:00pm daily; call (760) 647-3044 for more information.

Mono Basin Historical Society Museum
The Mono Basin Historical Society Museum, located in Lee Vining at Gus Hess Park, houses a fascinating collection of materials and photographs from the Mono Basin's past. See Native American artifacts, gold mining implements, and even the legendary upside-down house! A great place for kids of all ages. Call (760) 647-6461 for more information.