I had a chance to get out to Salmon Lake today with Kent and Chuck Bovee. While they went fishing for silver salmon, I wandered around in the valley a bit.
Weather: It started out mostly cloudy and pretty chilly, but the clouds broke and the sun came out for a little bit in the afternoon in the valley. By the time we got back to town around 2pm, it was cloudy again. It started raining this evening.
Birds: At the head of Silver Bay near the outlet of Salmon Creek, there were several Barrow’s Goldeneyes. We heard and saw many gulls in the river.
Near the fish weir just below the outlet of the lake, I heard two American Dippers singing. It’s been some time since I have observed one of them (not that I have really put myself in a position to see them recently).
On the lake there were two American Coots (seen by Kent, and only barely by me after he mentioned them). There were also some Common Mergansers across the lake from the cabin. A couple of them appeared to be well into the black and white breeding plumage.
Walking along the trail I saw at least two Brown Creepers and several Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I also saw or heard a few Winter Wrens.
A flock or two of geese flew over, but I never was able to see them through the trees.
I saw one sparrow, probably a Song Sparrow, but maybe a Fox Sparrow or something else, along the lake shore.
Other Notes: I noticed a patch of plants along the lake shore (after the sparrow caught my eye) and did not recognize them. They turned out to be Self-heal. This species is invasive, but this was the first time I had seen a thick patch of it. Previously it’s just been a plant or two.
I found some Bear’s head fungus (Hericium abietis) growing on a cut log by the trail. It was a first for me.