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LeConte's thrasher        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Le Conte's thrashers are pale, long-legged, fast-running wraiths of desert scrubland and washes in arid regions of California, Arizona, and Nevada.   They are a prized sighting for visiting birdwatchers and can be very difficult to find despite the open habitat they favor.   I was very pleased to find the bird above singing vigorously in a dry wash in Joshua Tree National Park, in southern California.   The birds below were in the alkali scrublands of the Owens Valley, just east of Bishop, California.   They were photographed just after dawn, in the shadow of the White Mountains just to the east.

  • digital captures, Canon 10D or 1D IV, 500 mm IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2010)