Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birding with Kathie!

A blogger friend moved back to Tucson. I was nervous because we never met in person but I was excited.  A friend to bird with.....I mean....really really bird. Today I am excited to present a week long event of our journeys over a two week period into the Sonoran desert and grasslands of Southern Arizona.
Northern Mockingbird at El Presidio to start my day off:)
If you don't know Kathie from Kathie's Birds, stop over and check out her site. It was an awesome cool and windy morning.  A first after so many days of nasty hot weather.
At the entrance to Agua Caliente Park on a cloudy morning
Now going with friends or people who aren't interested in birding isn't quite the same. A little light of excitement went on when I discovered Kathie's blogs several years ago.  I have observed that most married couples bird.  I have Pat and while it's fun to travel together and share the experiences; I only get a couple hours of light birding and photography because a certain someone gets antsy after awhile:)  And I do get that.
Turkey Vulture
But then Kathie moved back to Tucson.  We were meeting for the first time and it was a first for me because you never know who's writing the blogs sometimes.  Was she a killer secretly writing about birds?  And did she think the same about me?  But we met and it was so much fun from the start.  There is a focus to her and a committment to birds that I really appreciate. The best part?  Hanging out and searching every branch, listening to every chirp, tweet and whada da la da da da! with a new friend.
Lesser Goldfinch on a windy morning
Or the fact that we could have a conversation but be okay with a sudden burst of feather activity and forget what we were talking about......most people get irritated by that "birder eye".  It's where we chat with someone and the conversation is interrupted by a bird flying over.  I have tried so hard to keep focused with non-birders but it doesn't always work.
Slider Turtle
On this day, we took a simple trip to Agua Caliente park.  And I discovered two lifebirds thanks to Kathie. You'll see them below.  She also kept accurate accounts of the birds we saw and made "old" birds I've already seen and captured on film relevant again.  And I learned about the power of EBIRD and how we can help our birds with our data collection.
Gila Woodpecker
What I liked a lot about birding with Kathie was how we serve as a team better.  She is much more advanced a birder than I am but I am a quick study. I am a bit camera crazy and have to watch out for not being rude with "making the shot".  But if anything else, I'll be Kathie's bodyguard on the trek:)
Small Breadfruit growing wild on this former ranch
Over the next several days, we'll take you on an incredible journey throughout Southern Arizona.  I promise not to disappoint.  Some were extremely difficult to find.
We spent hours doing some really excellent observations.  We had our sun caps, bug spray, sunblock, jackets/vests(fall is here now and the mornings are wonderful!), charged batteries for our cameras, checklists, food, water, and a full gas tank to drive to the locations.
Green Tailed Towhee
And as for Towhees.  Just how many of them are there?  I spotted two by myself over the year....Aberts and the Spotted.  But with Kathy, I discovered the Green Tailed and Canyon Towhees within a matter of 2 weeks!
It just took her wisdom and knowledge to find them .
This was such a strange bird to see with its "Red Mohawk".
Below is a shot of the breadfruit in the tree.  I have seen a breadfruit tree in Panama and it is huge.  So this was a similiar type plant growing in the desert.  So I made a plant discovery first!
The second lifebird was this shadowy shot of the Bewick's Wren. 
Bewick's Wren
During the course of this write, Kathie and I have been super busy with our own lives. We've had some fun and exciting moments on the trails.  And not all of them relate to birds, but I'll let her tell those stories. Hey, birding is like Indiana Jones sometimes.....
Horse Lubber
Today I spied two birds and one new human blogger. Stay tuned for more.....


  1. I will definitively have to sit down longer and have a closer look. Great!

  2. What luck for you to find a birding friend. I have tried to go on photography expeditions with nonphotographers, who say they don't mind if you take pictures along the way but after a few stops you know they're just grinning and bearing it!

  3. Hi! How nice that you were able to meet up with another bird enthusiast, it must have been fun.
    You got some interesting captures too. Love the shots of he Green Tailed Towhee,what a great looking bird.

  4. Wyjazd i obserwacja ptaków z koleżanką, to z pewnością cudowne przeżycie.Trzeba być bardzo spostrzegawczym, żeby zobaczyć, to co Wy.Bardzo miło było oglądać zdjęcia . Pozdrawiam.
    And bird watching trip with a friend, it is definitely a wonderful experience. You have to be very observant to see what you are. Very nice to see the photos. Yours.

  5. Chris a ver cuando me llevas a mi de birding...ja.. Pajareo como decimos aquí.. :-)))
    Me encanta ese pajarillo con cresta roja.. Qué guapo.. Un saludillo..

  6. It is very cool that were and Kathie were able to go birding together. I have been following Kathie's blog and her facebook page for some time now. She does know her birds! I am glad to know I am not the only one who's eyes will follow the birds during a conversation. I would like to see the Green Tailed Towhee. Congrats on your lifers and I hope you and Kathie get to do some more birdie together. Great photos!

  7. Its great that you have been able to go birding with another enthusiast :) When I try and go with the family who have just a general interest - I inevitably end up miles behind them as I stop to try and identify each bird or butterfly and take photos!! Well done on your "lifers". Lovely photos again - I really like the last grasshopper one :)

  8. It's great how the internet can bring people with the same interests together! I love that grasshopper, he looks like he belongs in a movie as the Dark King.

  9. that is AWESOME! you both have a great alliance made! that towhee is something!

  10. I love the photos. Congratulations to you and your birding friend.

  11. You're just rockin' it now! With all them Chuparosas and now a powerful birding ally, you are an ornithological force to be reckoned with down there!

    It's gotta be great to have so many excellent destinations, and now a bird buddy, relatively close by. Looking forward to reading about y'alls adventure.

  12. Well how fun is that! I'm headed over to her blog. Agua Calienti Park? I've got to get down to Tucson. Not that far!

  13. Glad you two met up, sounds as if you have a lot in common. I love that Towhee, what a hair do he has! A wonderful picture of the Horse Lubber Grasshopper, what an interesting looking fellow hw is too!

  14. I am so glad you two birders can learn from each other. I've found it a real treat to meet fellow bloggers and look forward to meeting both of you. And if we go birding, I'll try not to talk too much, and listen for the birds. Plus get some photo tips.

  15. Sounds like a wonderful adventure and a new friend to boot. Wonderful captures, including your friend.

  16. Particularly liking the Towhee wearing the indian headress. Native to the region I presume. And loving the bug.
    Great Stuff!!

  17. Great post!
    Looks like you had a great time with your birding friend.
    Love to see the Green Tailed Towhee.

  18. That is what I love----meeting someone with like interests... That is why blogging is so special. So glad you met Kathie and it sounds like you all had a fabulous time birding together.

  19. Hi Chris. A really great post, which I have only just caught up with. Yeah, I can equate to semi-birding trips with 'the other half'. My wife is very tolerant when we go on vacation, but I don't like to push my luck!

  20. I'll stay tuned for sure. How exciting, so many new encounters in a matter of weeks...

  21. I am not much of a "birder" seeing new birds, and love photographing them, but frankly Kathie's dedication to her craft is a little intimidating! :-) I'm looking forward to meeting both of you! When Mary of Faith Fabric and Photos was here and she and her sister and I went to the Wetlands, that's when I realized I'm "not much of a birder"...I have a LOT to learn! But, I have been meaning to get to Agua Caliente! Love your photos! Love seeing the two of you together! I'm so glad you two are enjoying the birding together so much! That's wonderful! OK, now that my feet are "wet" by going to the Wetlands, maybe I will become a true birder after all!

  22. I know what you mean about both being birders! It is about as perfect a thing as there can ever be!!! Looked very productive and fun to boot!!!

  23. I am still catching up! I'm not commenting on them all, but I am reading everyone. I'm so glad you've connected with another birder. I feel the same way when I take pictures with Tracy...we can just stop mid-conversation and get caught up in the moment.


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