Loading Events

Birding the Western Edge of the Great Basin

July 8, 2017 @ 6:00 am - July 9, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
  • This event has passed.
Birding the Western Edge of the Great Basin

Sooty Grouse. Photo credit: Joe Clemens

Join us July 8th & 9th for a trip to the western edge of the Great Basin. We’ll be birding in the Sweetwater Mtns and on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, some of the few places in California to experience the high desert avifauna of the Great Basin. We’re sure to see Dusky and Gray Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee and Cassin’s Finch and will be targeting uncommon species including Greater Sage-Grouse, Pinyon Jay, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Canyon Wren, Chukar, Northern Goshawk, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Virginia’s Warbler, and Red Crossbill.

It will be about a 3.5 hour drive from Sacramento to the area we are birding. Participants will have several options: stay in the area the night of the 7th and 8th and join us for birding starting at 7am on the 8th, or drive out on the 8th and meet up with the group around 11am. We’ll likely wrap up by mid-afternoon on the 9th to give folks time to get home before dark. There will be options to stay in a local motel or to camp, probably in the Bridgeport area (with a chance to hear Common Poorwill). Expect a mixture of driving and light to moderate hiking, sometimes at elevations above 8,000 feet. The trip will be led by Frank Fogarty, an avian ecologist and doctoral student at UC Davis who studies riparian bird communities in the Great Basin.

A word on accommodations; things are booking up, especially camping. The trip will start from Bridgeport, here are a few options:
There are first come-first serve campsites in the surrounding national forest.
A few of us will stay at Willow Springs resort, 760 932 7725 They have tent and rv sites and a few motel rooms, but booking up FAST.
Walker River Lodge has good availability of motel rooms,, 760 932 7021.
There are many more motels in the Bridgeport area, and also a KOA in Coleville.

More details on logistics to follow. For information, contact Frank Fogarty ( – limited internet after May 17th) or John Hansen ( or 530 750 9426).
If you’re interested in the birds of the region, please check out this free natural history guide written by Frank and Erica Fleishman (download link at the bottom of this post):


We will meet at the Shell station in Bridgeport, 76773 Main St. We will meet at 6 am on Sat, July 8, and again at 11 am for people arriving that day.

If you plan on arriving at 11 am, please contact John Hansen beforehand.

If you need a ride over, or could take someone else, please contact John Hansen. I can’t “arrange” carpools, but I can put you in touch.

Frank is already seeing lots of great birds over there!


July 8, 2017 @ 6:00 am
July 9, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
Event Category: