Death Valley Oasis


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Recordist/Credit: Jack Hines

Notes from the Recordist:
April 15, Dusk, Mesquite Springs:
As we walk up a dry wash it occurs to me that after several days of exploring an adjacent valley, we have finally arrived in the desert; there's something about this place, the deep colors of the sand and rocks at dusk, and a nearby raven calling, that contains the magic of the desert. But above all, it's the deep quiet that stretches out for miles and miles.
April 16, Dawn, Mesquite Springs:
I awake in the predawn twilight, grab my gear, and walk to the site I've chosen to record. Just as I'm setting up I hear the first avian voices welcoming the sun and a beautiful Spring morning. The solitary call of a White-crowned Sparrow is soon followed by another. Then, in the distance, a single Raven. Soon the rapid, falling, chattering of a Brewer's Sparrow can be heard along with a Costa's Hummingbird. As the sky grows lighter this tapestry of voices becomes more dense, and the rich fabric of life at this desert oasis is revealed.
April 17, Dawn, Anvil Spring:
It's quiet, in just the right way; nothing but the birds, and this morning's coyote calling. His long howls, reverberating throughout the valley, his solo accompanied by Mockingbirds, and the ever present White-crowned Sparrow who sounds the keynote of this dry desert landscape. As morning grows toward day and the hum of insects increases, a Black-throated Sparrow sings and a Costa's Hummingbird swoops and dives. And in the distance, from the rocky slopes above us, come the "chucka chucka" of the Chuckars, transplants from the middle-east.
April 17, Dusk, Anvil Spring:
At dusk center stage is taken by the Mourning Doves - their whistling wing beats mixing with the steady cooing of their song. And as the sky darkens, in the distance several Poorwills are heard, calling in the night.
Species List:
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-throated Sparrow
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brewer's Sparrow
Cactus Wren
Common Poorwill
Common Raven
Costa's Hummingbird
Gambel's Quail
Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird
White-crowned Sparrow 

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