Saturday, November 21, 2015

Waiting to Exhale


Anna's Hummingbird with Pyracantha in the background
When you've seen all there is to see, you begin to study better what you already know.


It's that deeper understanding of habitats and bird behaviors that can be quite satisfying.


Such was the case during a trek out to the Santa Cruz flats.  Instead of chasing new birds, we just observed the ones present.

American Kestrel
 The scope comes out and we begin to scan. 

Magill scans the sod farm for Mountain Plovers
Of course, we try and search for that special rare bird or two. But on the Flats, it's always the wintering Mountain Plovers that steal the show.

First decent photo documentation of a Mountain Plover
 Rare or not, I'm never disappointed because I love birds. And it's so relaxing and fun trying to find as many birds as we can while we're out in the field.

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron
I especially love birding with good friends.   Add to the experience cold rainy weather and you've got a great day outdoors.  For a desert dweller recovering from the sweltering hot summer temps, it's nearly perfection:)

Male Vermilion Flycatcher
Subtle visitors come back to visit us during the winter like the Sagebrush Sparrow.  You won't see them unless you take the time to stop and smell the sage.  They aren't shy birds, but they do blend in well with their surroundings. And if you don't know they are out there, you'd never know they existed:)

Sagebrush Sparrow
A Greater Pewee migrates down to the lower elevations and hangs out at a local watering hole.

Greater Pewee
And a hesitant Broad-tailed Hummingbird sticks around longer than normal.

A late Broad-tailed Hummingbird
The holidays are coming and my work is not done. For now, I have a house to clean and final exams to prepare. I am one bird shy of my 700 life bird goal and I wonder which bird species it will be. But for now, during the "in between", I relax and revisit my favorite spots in Southern Arizona when I can squeeze in the time. Until next time.....

26 comments:

  1. Hopefully it can be more relaxing just observing than chasing. Good luck on #700.

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  2. Chris, I am so sorry for you and your familiy's loss. Deborah truly must have been a very special person to emote such a tribute. Congratulations on your nuptials. I thoroughly enjoyed all the photos from Colorado with your family. Although the moment is now bittersweet, I wish you nothing but joy in your future.

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    1. Thank you Jeanne for your words and thoughts.

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  3. I so enjoyed your photos. They're all stunning. But must say...wish I had a scope sometimes. Lucky you.

    You posted "Rare or not, I'm never disappointed because I love birds. And it's so relaxing and fun trying to find as many birds as we can while we're out in the field." I so agree with your sentiment here.

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    1. I love how you bird Anni. It's natural and feels like a true birder's outing. It's my favorite way to bird. Chasing life birds can be exhausting .

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  4. A beautiful post, Chris. I've never been much of a chaser or twitcher, but I find that ,these days, I get my greatest pleasure from just staying still and observing the behaviour of the birds.

    My best wishes to you both - - Richard

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    1. Thank you Richard. I hope we get to meet one day. I'd love to explore the countryside with you! I like how you cover your areas and keep data at the various locales. That's responsible birding!

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    2. Just found your reply to my comment, Chris. If you're ever in UK it would be my privilege to spend time with you both - - Richard

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  5. View each bird makes me happy. Certainly more fun gives you a view rarely seen, but it does not diminish the value of these common birds. Beautiful girls are the first three pictures. Regards.

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  6. I never chase birds but am vy happy to look at all the birds that trun up when I am out.

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    1. You travel Margaret! I love your treks.....they really are amazing!

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  7. The hummingbirds are delightful Chris and love the colours of the flycatcher. Good Luck with bird species 700 - look forward to seeing what it will be.

    Much as I love seeing new species I still get an awful lot of pleasure over just watching the more common species :)

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    1. You are such a naturalist and that is incredible. You know your plants, history, insects, birds etc. when I read your work, the word wholistic comes to mind. Thank you for teaching me about your beautiful countrysides.

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  8. I still remember watching an Anna's Hummingbird near Monterey - just magic! It's being out there that refreshes us!

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    1. Yes it is! Our hummingbirds are like your sunbirds I bet :-) or endless colorful parrots!

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  9. The move you caught of the American Kestrel is unique!

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    1. Hi there! It was a fast moment and I was surprised I got the shot:) that's a beautiful little falcon.

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  10. Nice series, Chris. Many birds that we don't see in the midwest. Not sure I would choose a cold rainy day as my favorite ... in fact, I would probably be complaining. But, to each his own as the saying goes and whatever the weather, the pictures are great.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. :) our summer is like your winter. Rain in the desert is like a celebration:) but I know where you are coming from:) boy do I know....that's why this cheesehead moved a long time ago

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  11. Nice post. Anna's and Broad-Tailed Hummers were the first species of these wonderful birds I ever saw. I got rather excited.

    Rails do normally hide in the bushes - but the inquisitiveness of the Woodhen means it will often come out into the open, and that almost lead to its extinction!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  12. Glad you are getting time to draw breath Chris, nature heals all that ails us. Good luck with number 700 :)

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  13. I love your captures of the hummingbirds. Happy birding!

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  14. I'm amazed at the wide scope of birds that you have shot. Those of the hummingbirds are spectacular. Im always fascinated as we don't have them here. The red bird is also a rarity here.

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  15. Wow, almost 700 birds. You are doing awesome! Wonderful post, my favorites are the hummingbirds. Great series of photos.

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