Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Dabbling Duck

Mexican Spotted Owl
There a bird.  Here a bird.  Everywhere birds.  An electronic list is sent to me daily about the birds seen around the state of Arizona. I have begun getting lists from Mexico so that I can study the strange new names.  Some are still familiar.

Red-naped Sapsucker

Over the past week, I've done some really sporadic things around Southern Arizona.  I went to find a Spotted Owl in town. 


Then it was off to help out at the Wings Over Willcox festival.  I hung out at a booth with the Mexican ranch crew(the ones that track the Jaguars).  We had a lot of wonderful people stop by including a certain bear:)

Wings Over Willcox
On Sunday, we took a trip down to the border region grasslands where we had a nice time around Peña Blanca Lake, Kino Springs and the Cienegas Grasslands near Empire Ranch.

Rock Wren
I'm in a strange place right now with birding.  It has been a lot of fun watching new birders get excited about the birds here in Arizona. To be honest, it's been a lot of fun helping people find the birds.  At home, I read up on birds.  If there's a documentary on birds, I'll watch it. 


So there are some birds I like more than others. I think that it's this way for many people.  The only bird I really wanted to see on our day out was the White-tailed Kite.  The sun was setting while we watched this beautiful kite for a half hour.  I think it has to be one of the most elegant and graceful birds out there.  The pic below was my favorite.  There are three layers to this photo.  The setting sun.  The gold colors of the grasses. And the silhouette of the kite landing.  Perfection.

White-tailed Kite lands
We hiked for a bit around several areas finding all of our wrens for the day.  At Kino Springs, we stopped for the Black-bellied Whistling ducks.  I snapped a shot even though the lighting was all wrong.  The birds came up rare on my report and I needed to document them.  It was strange because I've seen 4 or 5 of them together this time of year, but not 26!  So I snapped a photo just to be on the safe side.  

Peña Blanca Lake

Anyhow, I've been a dabbling duck.  I go there. Stay here. It doesn't matter.

Verdin
I focus on getting better pictures of birds that have poor photo documentation. For example, I've seen the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher many times and yet I didn't have a very good picture of one.  I've come to enjoy watching the various gnatcatchers over the past couple years. To the untrained eye, they all look the same, but they are definitely different birds:)  And it's noticing the subtleties that make birding fun and worthwhile. 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
So right now, I will continue to dabble in various projects until the bigger trips arrive. 

Canyon Wren, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, White-tailed Kite and Rock Wren

25 comments:

  1. That Spotted Owl is wicked cool. I haven't seen one not in Miller Canyon. Way to branch out!

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  2. Hi Chris, I love seeing all of the different birds you see--both on your blog and on Facebook. I can imagine how much harder it is getting to find those 'new' birds you haven't seen yet....

    I love the Sapsucker and of course, that Mexican Owl.... OH MY---I love them all.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. Thanks Betsy! I've been more facebook than blog lately so I'm glad we're friends on FB:)

    Laurence, this was my first non-Miller SPOW! I glowed for days after that one:)

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  4. Great selection once again. I love the Owl and I agree it is lovely helping newer birder where to find birds in your area.

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  5. Glad to see you out and about. Wonderful to see these pictures of Arizona and the places and birds I love!

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  6. Awesome post Chris! It is very nice you are helping out the new birders..I just love that Mexican Owl, gorgeous. Have a happy weekend!

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  7. You had a 'full on' year last year Chris, maybe a bit of dabbling will be rejuvenating for a while.. It sounds like you are enjoying yourself anyway.

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  8. Are beautiful birds, so be nice and further find them and show us. We will admire. Regards.

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  9. Some really nice images there. A bit of variety is good for us!

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  10. It's really all about having fun.

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  11. HHHMMMmmm... what does the acronym OCD mean to you?!?! Only kidding, us birders get more and more involved the more we look, right?! LOVE your Kite photo - it's awesome! And parts of Arizona look a LOT like the Aussie outback - you'll feel right at home if you ever visit!

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  12. i'm happy to see your adventures on FB too!!! :) i love all your bird sightings...and my favorite here is the owl!! happy saturday chris!

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  13. I so love Arizona so each time I visit your Blog - I have good memories of the area, the weather, the plants. very nice. Great photos today. Jack

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  14. Lovely post and photos Chris - your enthusiasm for birding shines through as always :) The Owl in the first photo is so cool :)

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  15. I've really enjoyed this post, Chris. I love those first two images - especially the first one !!

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  16. I enjoyed my (probably one and only) birding tour in Arizona - its been a long time since I saw some many new birds in one day!

    But I would have traded them all to keep the Hummingbirds!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  17. I am very much a novice birder but I love to see them when I can. Coming to blogs such as yours I learn so much and your photos are truly magnificent. Thanks Chris!

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  18. Stunning birds and a wonderful area.

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  19. your wrens are so cute! would love to see a cactus wren someday. as for whistling ducks, yeah, i've known a few...hundred...at once...for months... :) just love 'me, though.

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  20. Great photos! I have learned so much from you, and always enjoy seeing what is here (and what you find on your trips as well). Thanks for your comment. It was a pleasure to do the LINK. :-) By the way, I've never noticed a red spot on the wing of my verdin. I need to look more carefully!!! :-) That was a great photo of the verdin, and I loved seeing everything.

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  21. Always a fun trip on your blog... beautiful photo of the Verdin....

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  22. Another wonderful selection of birds!:)The Rock Wren and Canyon wren are so different, but as sweet as can be.Fab photos!:)

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  23. Fun times seeing all of your finds and I am glad that you keep on looking and sharing~

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