Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today's Hike: A Bird Sandwiched by Two Lizards

liz1Hiking up the hill today, I spied at least two lizards. The first lizard was located fairly low on the hill, maybe at about 6800 feet in elevation. I don't know my lizards well, so I can't tell you what name this guy goes by, but he (she?) has nice scales, a bit of a pattern hidden in all that gray, and a little brown near the shoulders and on the back.
flt1 Farther up the hill, I decided to do a little investigation of some old mine workings, and so I went inside this adit. What is a little hard to notice in the photo is the wren hanging out on the fault-plane side of the photo (that would be the left side).
flt2 It's probably a rock wren, like these younger ones we saw about a year ago lower on the hill. (The adit is at about 7000 feet.) This one bird was flitting around, in and out of the adit before I arrived on the scene, and after I walked into the mine to look around and take some pictures, it eventually came back, still darting here and there, hardly staying in one place long enough for me to shoot. My camera noise bothered it a little. I wondered if it had a nest somewhere, but it never settled down, and never flew at me protectively. (I don't know if wrens do that.)
salt1 It eventually flew into the mine behind me, where there were at least two main drifts going off to each side to connect with other underground workings and surface openings. The wren is hard to spot in the photo above; it blends in with the rock.
salt2 Even enlarged, the rock wren is hard to see, there in the upper right below a shadow. I think it may have been after the salt efflorescence on the rock surfaces, though perhaps there were small bugs in there. (I didn't notice any.)
post1 And here's the little wren again, this time just a small white spot above the mine timber on the adit sill (that's floor to you non-miners).
post2 Enlarged a bit, you can see more than just it's white chin.
lg1 This is the closest shot I managed to get. We're both still inside the mine, close to the entrance. I hardly moved while all this darting and flitting was going on around me, other than to turn to face in different directions.
liz2After awhile, I left the mine, leaving it for the rock wren claimant. On the mine dump, I spotted another lizard, maybe the same kind as before, maybe a different kind.


Gaelyn said...

It seems you might have trespassed on the wrens claim with lizard outlooks.

Silver Fox said...

I think it was a "watch lizard." ;)