Monday, March 12, 2012

Birds, glorious birds, part 2

Birding is relaxing when you do armchair birding like I normally do, but there's also the thrill of the "hunt" too. Son1, especially now that he's keeping a life list, is eager to see his first of each species. AZ did not disappoint.

Here the guys are consulting the Kaufman bird guide (Son1's favorite) after we spotted the Vermilion Flycatcher:
Next along the path, we saw a Canvasback:
A group of them, in fact. A raft of them??
At Ramsey Canyon Preserve, an Arizona Woodpecker:
Bridled Titmice are so hard to photograph due to their constant (hyper)activity.
This curious mule deer wasn't too afraid of people.
It was weird seeing succulents like agave plants right next to a cool weather plant like a fern on the trail at Ramsey:
Back at the visitor center, we found this fellow. Anyone know what kind of lizard it is?
On the way out of Carr Canyon, we saw a Red-naped Sapsucker.
While lunching at the Sierra Vista Environmental Operations Park, we were joined by a Loggerhead Shrike, hubby's favorite bird.
On our last day in AZ, we were debating whether to stop at Saguaro National Park because we were running short on time. Boy, are we glad we did. Here are just some of the birds we saw:

Gila Woodpecker
Canyon Towhee
Black-throated Sparrow
Anyone want a Black-chinned Sparrow to go with the Black-throated Sparrow? This was an exciting find for Son1.
I was more excited about the Cactus Wren since I think wrens are some of the cutest birds around.
Son1 thinks this is a Clay-colored Sparrow:
You just can't take Gambel's Quails seriously; they look like little jesters.
This Pyrrhuloxia was a bit of a beggar. He must have been hanging around the picnic area too much and is used to being fed.
And last, but not least, is the Curve-billed Thrasher, a bold looking bird with brilliant yellow eyes. If I had one for a pet (which I thoroughly frown upon; I don't condone keeping wild birds for pets), I'd name it Data. ;)
Next blog post, I'll have a few pictures of the AZ landscape. Gotta milk the trip for all its worth!

Did you see any exciting birds in your neck of the woods this past week? Do you have Spring migrants passing through yet?

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams