Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chasers

Great Blue Heron
There's a lot going on behind the scenes here at Las Aventuras.  Almost too much.  Sometimes I need to tell myself to take a break.....and it doesn't always work.  I do enjoy counting birds, but it's also extremely fun playing detective trying to find new ones.  So the "rare bird of the week" will dictate where we go birding sometimes.  And sometimes, it's the only reason we go.
Black Crowned Night Heron.  Isn't it funny how we aren't shy when there is food around?  This fisherman gave his little buddy a fish from the bucket. I'll have to remember that one:)
I love that Kathie will text me and say, "Chris I'm here at the recharge pond looking for the Common Loon." I plot my GPS tracker on my way home from work and move quickly(and safely) to her location to help search for the bird.
But on this day, I would be near her coordinates and called her to get a Western Grebe on her Pima list.  There was also a Gull spotted in the area but work interferred for the prime spotting during the AM hours.  However there was a chance the gull may have still been in the area.  Kathie and I met up searching....and searching.   While waiting for her, I scoped out the area for the Western Grebe.
It's important helping your birding partner out and I feel really bad if we don't both see the bird. Kathie tells me not to stress about it.  And I understand but still....  Two are better than one because we can spot, track, observe and work together to list those birds in the area.  As a photographer, I am looking for that rare shot.  The "shot" is below, but we both lie to each other.  "I've only got an hour to bird."  Of course the hour turns into two.  The sun tells us that it's time to call it quits:)
Gila Woodpeckers
I spot the Western Grebe for Kathie and she gets to put it on her list.  We saw the Common Loon and get to put that bird on our lists for Pima County.  Of course, it doesn't always work out as you'll see in the upcoming week.  Life and location can be difficult.  I find that I am planning my days better just so I can fit in birding.....I mean exercise......oh hell....BOTH!
Vermilian Flycatcher
The shadows of the sun setting would reveal several Western Bluebirds on this day.  And that was AWESOME!  Kathie's eye caught that one.
Western Bluebird
But what really got her curiosity was this flock of blackbirds.  Her challenge, "Were there Cowbirds in the group?"  We crept closer....and closer.....and closer.
Blackbirds
And I saw a human walking toward the blackbirds getting closer....and closer.....and closer.  I smiled and warned Kathie the birds were going to fly.  And the two shots of the blackbirds in flight below are my favorites from this outing.  Kathie got her observations in.....I got the shot....and we both were satisfied and thankful that we got the chance to observe them.
Of course this post wouldn't be complete without the bird we were chasing.  The Western Grebe is a nice looking bird.  I had already seen it, but Kathie didn't have it on her Pima list. We are a team.  I research the night before and report back to Kathie the locations birds were found.  Sometimes I go alone....and other times, like today, we get to hang out together and look for birds and wildlife.
Western Grebe
Every day is a new revelation.  Every outing has merit.  It's an exercise of the body and mind.
And if you look closely, you might encounter a new surprise hiding.  Another exciting find was this group of Lark Sparrows.  I am so lucky to have a wonderful friend.  Thank you Gaelyn for linking us up again after getting lost in the blogosphere.  The best part is that our spouses are cool with us birding.  Well our spouses are pretty cool as well.  I have so much to write.  So much to share....and not enough time!  We are doing a Christmas Bird Count and will be busy "training" with Rich Hoyer over the next several weekends. Las Aventuras will be heading to Bosque Del Apache and Colorado Springs very soon:)
Lark Sparrows
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  All my best!  Until tomorrow.....
The rare Northern Parula in Tucson.  I found this bird alone at Ft. Lowell Park.  Not a great camera shot.  Chasing isn't about great photography but finding the bird:)  

33 comments:

  1. Nice set of pictures - the Flycatcher is a bird I would like to see.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: thanks for the comment on my wordy blog!

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  2. I love the Heron waiting patiently for its breakfast, superb.

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  3. Chris, sounds like you and Kathie are having a great time birding together. It is great when you find a great birding buddy. Congrats on getting all your target birds. The Western bluebird is high on my list of birds to see. Great post, have a wonderful day.

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  4. Lovely stuff. The Night Heron is a real beauty, how amazing to be able to get that close :)

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  5. Some impressive shots there Chris. You are seeing some superb birds. I've lost count of the number of times I have missed out on a particular bird I have gone to find but there is always something else great to see :)

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  6. jaja!!!.. Que descarado el Martinete. Yo quiero uno así de cerca. :-))) Un saludo..

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  7. Very good shots Chris...... nice done.

    Greetings, Joop

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  8. It is SO wonderful to have a friend that shares the same passion about birds! Thanks for sharing your adventures Chris.

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  9. All great photos Chris. I especially like the birds in flight.

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  10. Great post Chris; with this talk of weekend training and trips to Bosque del Apache, it sounds like you're now officially and almost unabashedly hooked on the birding and wildlife photography. You are doomed.

    The CBC should be a lot of fun. I always liked the idea of staying put and just birding one small area to full capacity throughout the day. I can never restrain myself during a normal birding outing to stay put for that long, but the particular objectives of a CBC would help.
    Where are you all going to set up camp?

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    1. Hello there! I am doomed:) It's all I have on my mind somedays:)

      The CBC has had some great reveals as have the native plants/bird connection to the garden. I'm linking all of them together here at El Presidio where we will begin our count. I have A LOT of bird feeders around the property and we now attract quite the selection of birds. I'm given money every month to purchase bird seed/plants for the improvement of the property. We're starting at El Presidio and then??? We are waiting for the assignment but we will be hiking in that journey. We did our training this past Saturday and I was incredibly amazed at what the leader pulled out of the bushes. I had NO idea! We are specifically looking for several birds on the counts as well during our trek....one including the Gray black throated Warbler and Hutton's Vireo. So I've been studying their calls and pishing effects to get them out of hiding.

      We will be having a Christmas Bird Count party on the 16th in the evening to tally up our finds as a group. It's going to be epic. We've worked extremely hard these past months locating birds and I wish I was more focused earlier on this past year. I would just count birds I could get great photos of instead of counting all my observations. Those count as well but thanks to a little guidance from Kathie I now have a stronger sense of what I'm doing when I'm alone in the field. And when we're working together, it's power birding:) Are you participating up in Maricopa? I haven't been able to really bird with the holidays, work and everything else so I look forward to the little time I get:)

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  11. awesome sightings. i can only imagine how 'off-track' you get on your schedule. :)

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  12. How lucky you are to have founds a wonderful birding buddy in Kathie. Sharing with someone really enhances the experience. Oh how I would love to see a Vermilian Flycatcher, Western Bluebird and Western Grebe (surprisingly, there was one spotted in the Chicago area a few weeks ago, but I was not able to locate it). Terrific photographs!

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  13. You two make a powerful birder team. I so enjoy the excitement that comes through in your writing. And, of course the wonderful photos too.
    I really want to come down but have way too much on my plate right now.

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    1. I completely understand:) You have some very exciting stuff on your plate:) The best kind. We'll meet up at some point. I can't wait for you to get to Africa with your "new" camera and lens. I absolutely loved your penguins from a couple weeks ago. What fun!

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  14. Another superb post from you Chris. What a great combination - an excellent birding buddy, and an understanding partner! I hope, however, that your partners have plenty to keep themselves occupied whilst you're both away.

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    1. We go on days when they work and watch American Football....both unpopular activities for us:) So why not bird?:)

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  15. Podglądaj taki, podglądaj i pokazuj. Dzięki Tobie poznam je. Zdjęcie bardzo ciekawe. Pozdrawiam.
    A peek, view and show. Thanks to you, I will know it. Photo very interesting. Yours.

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  16. I also like the blackbirds in flight, great shots.

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  17. You are so funny.... You need more hours in your day, Chris.... It's hard to do all of that birding ---and do all of the other things you want and need to do also. Right?????? GOOD LUCK....

    Great pictures especially the Grebe.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  18. Beautiful grebe, they are really something to watch. Being on the east coast I've only seen Westerns a few times when I was out west. In the spring parulas are common here, good find out your way.

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  19. The heron pictures are fantastic, as is the Grebe. Happy bird watching.

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  20. You will love it also in Australia, they have a lot of wonderful birds there, not seen in other countries.

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  21. Gosh you really are having a hectic time just now Chris, but rewarding at the same time. I too love the shots with the birds taking off.

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  22. You two make a great birding team.. four eyes see more ;)
    Congrats on the W Grebe, and all the other birds.

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  23. I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-10-rural.html

    I hope you can make it!
    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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  24. Such a great post and great photos! I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed right now. There's a lot going on with the holiday season! And I appreciated you correcting my great egret and black crowned night heron! I should have looked them up to be sure before I posted! :-)

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    1. Hi there:) No no no...do you know how many times people have corrected me on this thing? I've lost count, but I don't mind:) It's a community of learning and that's what I love about it. I've become a nerd so it's fun to see what everyone is seeing out in the great wild. You have excellent shots up close of the birds. Not easy to capture. I want to get outside really really bad but I have been trapped under mountains of paperwork! But I might get to play this weekend in search of the rare Rufous Back Robin. We shall see:)

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  25. Chris, it has been a big change to my birding habits to go birding with you. Who knew that that first outing would lead to such a great birding partnership! Thanks for sharing the fun with me!

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Thanks for stopping by!