Saturday, December 22, 2012

As Precious As The Desert Rain

A rain event in the desert is quite the celebration.  But it also signifies something else.  The storms from the north will also bring in foreign birds:)  On this rainy day,  I would head off to find rare and unusual birds.  And find them I did.

Solitary Sandpiper
It was pretty exciting.  Cloudy skies.  Cold weather.  Rain.  Hungry birds.  Epic day birding.  Hundreds of Northern Shovelers would fly over my head as I counted birds.
Northern Shovelers
I'm really not sure who these birds are below.  I think they are Red Tail Hawks but the lighting isn't very good here but I have been seeing Golden Eagles in the area.......and one of the things I would love to see is how they free fall together.  As you can see in the pic, their feet are down which made me wonder....but nothing happened.
Some interesting moves
Black Phoebes are cool little birds.  I love how they hop from one rock to the next catching bugs.
Black Phoebe in flight
But my special finds would happen at Kennedy Park.  I knew that there was a rare Canada Goose in the area but I didn't expect to  find this lifebird....the Redhead. There were at least 22.
When a lifebird is present, you work hard to get excellent photos.  Why?  Because once I've documented them, I can just enjoy observing them.
Western Grebes
There were 4 Grebes on this day.  But a failure on my part?  I missed the extremely rare Horned Grebe in Pima County.  I had assumed all 4 were Western Grebes.  To be fair 3 of them had their heads tucked into their bodies.  A report followed the next day stating a Horned Grebe was in the mix.  I am still going to try for this bird again tomorrow.  We'll see if this bird is still hanging around....again, another easy rare bird search.
Canada Goose
While the Canadian Geese or Western Grebes are not new to the lifelist, they are welcome additions to my birds found in Pima County. Very special finds.
Mallard Duck
It began to rain and get dark.  A sign that it was time to go home and stay warm.  More tomorrow.....


  1. Neck deep in Canada geese here. Amazing what goes on in deserts!

  2. Great post, Chris! The Redhead is gorgeous, awesome captures! Happy Birding and have a great weekend!

  3. Beautiful birds Chris and well done on the Redhead - what a stunning looking bird :)

  4. What a fabulous day you had Chris. I'd love to see a Redhead, although they are very similar to our Pochards.

    Best wishes for the holidays!

  5. wow! cool redhead!)
    also I like your title picture - nice update of your blog!

    Have a great weekend!

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

  6. Wow, that is an incredible shot of the Redhead!!! Absolutely beautiful! Good luck finding the Horned Grebe:)

  7. Very good photo's Chris.

    Merry Christmas !

    Greetings, Joop

  8. Wonderful image of the Redhead Chris, a super photo to add to your files!! Loved the Mallard duck in flight too.

  9. i would LOVE to see a redhead! my favorite carved wooden decoy is of a redhead. *sigh*

  10. I'm so glad I've discovered your blog! I'm really enjoying it--both the pics and what you have to say. Just great, so thanks! (p.s. I vacationed twice near Tucson and really loved it. Hope to return.)

  11. I would love to see the free-fall too. Those Redhead shots are superb. Might get some more rain in a few days to blow more unusual birds your way.

  12. I love the Redhead. He looks like he knows how beautiful he is.
    Now... for the Canadian Goose, They are considered pests here. They are so abundant and make such a mess. Just the same they are handsome birds. I like your new header but do hope we will see that beautiful owl again.

  13. Beautiful Redhead Chris! I love to watch hawks flying and soaring together and I always wonder what will happen next when they do.

    Happy Holidays.

  14. Wow...Canada sure has some gorgeous water birds!!!!!

  15. oh that Redhead is GORGEOUS!!

    and i LOVE your header!!

    BE merry chris! and here's to a happy & peaceful...full of birds & cool things to take pictures 2013!! *cheers*


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