The joy of birding doesn’t always include birds. After a successful three hour drive to Baker, California to see a White Ibis, we decided to check some other spots in the area that can often be productive. White-faced Ibis are the common species in California. Glossy Ibis is very rare. And this was the first White Ibis I’ve seen in the state in nearly 20 years of birding.
One of the stops was at the California State University Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx. The place was virtually bird-less, but on our way out, we chanced upon this particular joy of birding, a flock of Desert Bighorn Sheep. These animals are frequently very reclusive, so we stopped to get some photos and video. We were rewarded with some footage recording some behavior that few people get to see. The video was taken with a Nikon CoolPix P6000 camera through a Kowa TSN-884 spotting scope.
The advantage of digiscoping here is that we were able to keep our distance and avoid spooking the sheep. That turned out to be a good choice as we were able to get video of Desert Bighorn Sheep doing things that are not often seen. Be sure to follow along with the narration in the video as we point out such behavior as the ram asserting his dominance and insisting on submission from one of the younger males.