The center had a very pretty mobile of Wilson's Phalaropes that I was taken with.
There was also a nice exhibit on the peculiarities of the saline Mono Lake, and a display giving an idea on how the Paiutes of Mono Lake once lived before settlers moved in and blew the party.
The area I've seen around Mono Lake is beautiful, with loads of wildlife in the nearby Aspen groves, pine forests, and the beauty of majestic looking extinct volcanos. I think it must have been a paradise for the Paiutes.
We didn't begin to scale the Tioga Pass until nearly 11 AM. I always get a thrill from entering Yosemite National Park, in particular it's high alpine meadows that Tioga Pass meanders through.
We didn't have too much time to spare, needing to make it back to Sacramento, but we did stop in a couple of spots. Don went searching while I lazily sat back and enjoyed the scenery. The best bird we saw in the area were Williamson's Sapsuckers.
may have been a bit larger than it appeared
Astonishingly enough, after exiting Yosemite at one of the northern-most gateways, and then driving for hours along Highway 49, passing the old gold country towns of Angel's Camp and San Andreas, we didn't have enough birding under our belts. So after making nearly all the way back to my home, we stopped at twilight to bird along Meiss Road - the country lanes where I love to go hunting for wildflowers in the spring. We looked for Common Nighthawks but instead found several Great Horned Owls. We watched one such owl catch a nice fat meadow vole for its dinner. I enjoyed watching at least a dozen voles racing around under a shrub. It was too dark to photograph the little clowns, but some time this fall I hope to return there with my night vision camcorder; another mini-break for another time.