Thursday, September 3, 2015

Western Bluebirds on the Tuolumne River at Basso Bridge

We took a little picnic on the Tuolumne River at Basso Bridge this afternoon. I've become ever more aware of the treasure we have in this waterway that flows through our region. So much of the river environment has been expropriated for gravel pits, pastures, irrigation canals, mining and other consumptive uses that the original riparian habitat can be hard to find. That's been changing in recent years as some of the scars slowly heal and the river vegetation begins to return.
Basso Bridge was an older river crossing that has been replaced by a modern concrete highway. Only pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge these days. There is a parking lot for fishing access, and a county park (the Joe Domecq Wilderness) across the highway. I went all over the pond and river bank looking for some bird activity in the hot afternoon, and no one was out and about so I went back to the parking lot. It was only then that I noticed the birds were watching me! There were several Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the tree next to the car.
They flew down to the river for a drink and then wandered off, doing their thing. We headed back home...

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