Washoe Lake is a eutrophic, shallow lake that has a maximum depth of 12 feet (3.7m) and is located between Reno and Carson City Nevada.  Extensive droughts in the past have caused the lake to dry up entirely, most recently in 1992, 1994, and 2004. Washoe Lake is fed by several small streams from the Carson Range to the west and ephemeral streams from the Virginia Range to the east.  At its northern end, Washoe Lake narrows as it flows through the Scripps State Wildlife Management Area ending at Little Washoe Lake that feeds Steamboat Creek, which runs north to the Truckee River east of Sparks.  This is a great place for birding with 212 species being recorded so far.

This series was taken after a snow storm that dropped about 2" even in the Washoe Valley.  The sky was still overcast and the snow added to a new shooting experience for me.  I heard a Meadowlark singing and it took a few minutes to located the singer.  When I spotted the Lark in the top of a Cottonwood I was surprised since they are usually found on the ground.  The light blue sky and the branches caught my eye and with the contrasting black and white of the branches plus the yellow of the Meadowlark I had to take the shot.

Photo Week 46: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) EQ: D7200, 500mm f/4.0   Taken: 3-7-2017 at 12:21 Settings: 750 mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV         Conditions: Overcast

Photo Week 46: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

EQ: D7200, 500mm f/4.0   Taken: 3-7-2017 at 12:21

Settings: 750 mm (35mm eqiv), 1/1600s, f/5.6, ISO320, +1/3EV         Conditions: Overcast

Along the south end of the park in the wetlands area I was treated with a flock of not only Western Bluebirds but also Mountain Bluebirds.

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Moutain Bluebird

Moutain Bluebird

Dark-eyed Junco, Slate-colored

Dark-eyed Junco, Slate-colored

In the main group picnic area I was able to capture birds in snow.  The Slate Dark-eyed Junco is a winter visitor and will soon move north to their breeding grounds.  A north bound Snow Geese flight and this flyover was at least +2000 ft above me maybe 5000 ft.  A local bird and fairly common is the Black-billed Magpie, which is part of the crow and jay family and are very intelligent.

Snow Geese at +2000 ft

Snow Geese at +2000 ft

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie

On the west part of the lake I have encountered hawks and shorebirds.  This American Avocet was coming into his breeding plumage and breeds in the area.

America Avocet

America Avocet

What is very special about this area are the Mustangs.  They are very common and this family are in the Little Washoe Lake area.  It looks like this colts is only a few weeks old.  Awesome creatures.

MUstang Colt

MUstang Colt

Mustang Colt with Mom

Mustang Colt with Mom

Bald Eagle Encounter

Bald Eagle Encounter

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

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