Nice spot for a nest. That's a Steller's Jay nest atop a spring off Forest Road 2N10. I'm told the babies grew and fledged just fine, if a bit damp. Click to embiggen.
A friend from down the hill drove up yesterday, and we spent some time checking on a few species around the lake. Near the spring above, we got a good look at a Golden-crowned Kinglet. [More info on this species here.] Note that I linked to a photo of this tiny bird, since I'm much better at taking pictures of things that hold still. Nests, for example. Here's a Robin's nest near that same spring, discovered by birder Linda Gray of Lake Arrowhead.
In the meadow south of the old I-S Ranch we spotted a familiar
Think he sees us?
On the north shore we stopped to check out the Common Loons near Grout Bay.
[Sandy's photo is much better.] Then we drove down Cushenberry Grade to Cactus Flats, spotted a Loggerhead Shrike and several beautiful Black-throated Sparrows, and contemplated the great variety of habitats around Big Bear. Here's looking at you, Arizona [from FR3N03]:
Seriously, how can you drive up to the lake for the 4th of July, let alone live anywhere near the mountains, without knowing that personal fireworks are banned, banned, banned with a ban-hammer in the San Bernardino National Forest? It's the fire hazard, stupid. Snapped this photo of county sheriffs confiscating a ginormous box of illegal fireworks at Grout Bay yesterday. Only you can prevent wildfires...