Pyramid Lake is the geographic sink of the Truckee River Basin and is located 40 mi (64 km) northeast of Reno (NV).  Located in the Great Basin, Pyramid Lake is the remnant of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan that covered modern northwestern Nevada, northeastern California, and southern Oregon.  The Truckee River enters Pyramid Lake at its southern end and with no outlet the water level is controlled by evaporation or sub-surface seepage. The Lake is slightly salty and is approximately 1/6 that of sea water (ref Wikipedia).  This is a great place to find rare birds during both the Spring and Fall migrations.

The southern migration has begun and I found this single Sanderling, which is not a normal sight with them usually found in large groups.  This guy was feeding with Least and Western Sandpipers and with the calm waters I was able to capture its reflection by getting low and almost level with the bird.

Photo of the Week 39:  Sanderling (Calidris alba) Pyramid Lake Delta, WAS (NV) EQ: D7200, 300mm f/2.8   Taken: 8-17-2016 at 8:16a Settings: 450 mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny

Photo of the Week 39:  Sanderling (Calidris alba) Pyramid Lake Delta, WAS (NV)

EQ: D7200, 300mm f/2.8   Taken: 8-17-2016 at 8:16a

Settings: 450 mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny

The mud flats around the delta makes this a great stop over for migrating birds.  I also found a pair of Bonaparte's Gulls swimming just off shore and they were already in their winter plumage.

Least with Western Sandpiper Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO500, +1/3EV

Least with Western Sandpiper

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO500, +1/3EV

Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO360, +1/3EV

Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO360, +1/3EV

At the delta, where the Truckee river enters the lake, there were terns both Caspian and Forester's.  I was able to capture the pair below flying together and I didn't realize one had a fish until I reviewed the image.  Also on the beach, there were American White Pelicans, Black-necked Stilt, Double-crested Cormorants, Avocets, and a few Gulls.

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV

Caspian Terns pair in Flight Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO280, +1/3EV

Caspian Terns pair in Flight

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO280, +1/3EV

Hangout on the Delta Beach Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO360, +1/3EV

Hangout on the Delta Beach

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO360, +1/3EV

Some other creatures I encountered were Zebra-tailed Lizards that can run very fast across the sand.  Also, a Tarantula Hawk Wasp was feeding on wildflowers.  The Tarantula Hawk Wasp hunts tarantulas and are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long.  The sting is considered the second most painful insect sting in the world just behind the bullet ant.  This guy would make a great subject for a monster movie.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Calopompilus pyrrhomelas) Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO640, +1/3EV

Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Calopompilus pyrrhomelas)

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO640, +1/3EV

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO640, +1/3EV

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

Settings: 450 mm (eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO640, +1/3EV

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other leave me a message.

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