Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seeds of Promise

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
Reconnecting with birds already seen 10 times over, he patiently waits. Birds are amazing and he spies them easily now knowing exactly where they can all be seen. At least in Arizona. 



However, this explorer is at times impatient.  He knows he cannot sit at home and wait.  He must continue observing the same birds over and over again until they are ingrained into his mind.  This makes him a better birder.  A stronger birder. 


He observes with friends to keep it fresh. For some, it's their first time seeing many of these amazing creatures.  And it feels good. The educator within him comes out and it feels natural.   




He abides his time waiting for the seeds of promise.  Each night is a study session.  Tropical birds, habitats and places unknown.  These things swirl about in his dreams.  Something new.  Something exciting. 


Eastern Meadowlark(Lillian's Subspecies)
A life's journey is ahead.  Each year, he focuses on areas around Central America, Mexico and of course, the rest of North America. 

Plumbeous Vireo
Ticking and listing away, he discovers that there are many difficult challenges ahead.

Barn Swallow
Quite honestly, it's not about the tick or the check for him.  All birds are amazing.  Even the everyday kinds. But challenges are fun and he's all about pushing the envelope.  After birding the same areas over and over again, the birder is ready for a delicious challenge.

Marla imagining life at Empire Ranch
For now, this birder must strengthen his skills if he's going to succeed. When the time comes to discover a new species, he must be prepared! It's like practicing for a marathon or preparing for a food competition.  Soon his skills will be tested.  {end of narrative}


Texan Crescent (Anathassa texana)
Always strange to write in the 3rd person voice but I was feeling creative.  Lately, I have been anxious about a great many things.  One of those things happens to be a major trip that is scheduled for this summer.  I'm going to be surrounded by a wonderful team of birders. I am excited about the trek with my birding bud, but I am working on getting my reflexes ready with the camera. I also know this is going to be mentally exhausting. Rain forest birds are fast and usually in the shadows before one can get a shot of them.  Not good for photography! This is an opportunity to work with an amazing crew and possibly add on 200 new life birds!  So what's the concern? Excellent birders=quick spotting and onto the next bird.  I'm a "stop-and-watch-the-bird-for-awhile" kinda guy.  So I don't know what to expect. I can keep up with the group but I've never done this before.  On my treks, I usually stay one week in one area to study the habitat and surrounding areas both day and night.  My results are usually top notch.  This time around it's a different habitat for each day!! Now that's exciting but also overwhelming. In some cases from those evening studies, it's a one shot thing which doesn't leave much room for screwing up:) For now, I'm practicing practicing practicing for the weeks ahead!

Sonoita Creek
Today's post features photos from the Empire Ranch in the Cienagas Grasslands near Sonoita and the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve in Patagonia, Arizona. A special thank you goes out to Doug Taron(entomology) and Karina Hilliard(herpes)for the butterfly and last post's lizard ID. Also featured in this week's post is my partner-in-crime from work.



We had a fun day observing Gray Hawks in flight. Lots of gray birds in this post:) Until next time.....

19 comments:

  1. You are the real deal!

    ALOHA from Honolulu,
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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    1. Thanks Cloudia. I try my best:) I can only imagine the birding in Honolulu......one of these days:)

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  2. For me, anxious and excited go together like new and change. Sounds like an exciting challenge for you this summer. As usual your photos are exquisite, so they can only get better.

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    1. It sure will Gaelyn:) Thanks for the nice compliment. I hope to see you this summer!

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  3. Off on a new adventure - sounds like a life well-lived!

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    1. Life has its challenges, but we try:)

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  4. I like the way you wrote the beginning of this post in anothr person. wow! Another adventure coming up but these shots on this post are great and I enjoyed rading the post.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. You must experience the same thing on some of your treks. You sure travel! Birding is very exciting.

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  5. I've really enjoyed reading your poetic preamble and seeing your splendid images, Chris. Is it a fungus in that second image? I've never seen anything like it before - stunningly beautifull !

    I understand your trepidation at your forthcoming rainforest adventure. When I'm monitoring the owls it often seems like I'm rushing from one spot to the next, just checking what's there and what isn't. I'm never as happy as when I spend time sitting still, waiting and watching. I can do it for hours on end - usually disrupted, at my age, by a need to go to the bathroom!!

    Best wishes from England - - - - Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard. I'm monitoring our owls here. They look so healthy. Very protective of them as you are with the little ones. I'm finding that having a bathroom nearby is wonderful! Sitting still is the best and I've really had my best results that way. The running around from stop to stop doesn't make for good birding...and it's stressful. I'm doing a big day coming up with a team and it's a simulation of what we will be doing this summer. Crazy!

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  6. It does sound challenging, and very different birding for you, Chris, but you might surprise yourself, and you'll almost certainly learn and become a better birder because of the different experience you're expecting this summer.

    That second image is interesting- what is involved?

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    1. This is just speculation but it's the trunk of a rotted tree. There enters the fungus which makes it all funky:) But that's just my theory:)

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  7. Lovely post Chris with beautiful photos. Sounds like an exciting challenging summer - hope you have a wonderful time on the trip and manage to bird in the way you like best. Have to admit to being happier birding on my own - then I can get set the pace and linger as long as I like!

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    1. Thank you! It is exciting. I'm really hoping I do my best. This year I've put all the lifebird possibilities into 3 trips with the Mexican one being the big one.

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  8. Chris, your birding amazes me.. Wonderful birds and photos. And your next trip sounds like an awesome birding adventure, I am envious.. Have a happy day and weekend ahead.

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  9. What a great place this ranch is. Loved the birds and that tree burl was so cool looking. I would enjoy visiting this place.

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  10. Hi, Seeing the same birds over and over does help you to understand more about them.. It certainly helps me learn more about my backyard birds. Just today, a couple of Blue Jays were 'kissing' each other on the deck rail before they went to the plate feeder to grab a peanut.... SO cute...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  11. Nice post - the key to birding is being able to see when something is not a common bird - thats for more important that learning to look for rarity.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  12. i always enjoy reading your words and seeing your photos. i love that wavy weathered wood!! good luck & have fun in your adventures!! :)
    happy sunday!

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