Thursday, May 16, 2013

Run Lola Run!

Stilt Sandpiper
When nature calls, you run!!! A Stilt Sandpiper in Tucson????  No way!!!  "Hurry up Pat!  Drop everything and get in the car!!!" 
Neotropic Cormorant
I froze and pulled myself together.  Get camera.  Get keys.  Grab phone.  Lock door.  Laundry can wait!
We get to Lakeside Park in Tucson and scan the artificial shores for the birds.  Southwest corner.  Southwest corner.....where is that? We located the Southwest corner and moved.  It's not everyday one sees this bird AND in breeding plumage!!!
Brown-crested Flycatcher
And there we find the Stilt Sandpiper!!!  Just one!  We hold very still and zoom in with the camera lens.

A gorgeous bird and yet another lifebird for me.  I got the shots and moved away to count other birds.
As we continued on this windy day along Lakeside Park, we noticed two dogs running along the lake towards the Sandpiper, Killdeer and family of Mallards.  Two dog owners let their dogs off the leash and the birds flew off.  It happened in a matter of 20 minutes.  Had we hestitated; we would have dipped on this bird.  Within the blink of an eye, the birds flew off and the ladies disappeared with their dogs.  We were upset and by the time we got back to the spot, the birds were not found.  Later on in the day, one of the birds was found with a damaged wing.  It was taken in by a Wildlife Rescue crew.  Just a good reminder for dog owners to keep their pets on the leash. 
Western Wood Pewee
The day would continue as we had great views of some fantastic birds.  While the Western Wood Pewee(above) was not a lifebird, it was the first time I was able to get a great shot of this bird.
Flower on Tree Cholla
And along the way, we found lots of other colorful characters........
Lucy's Warbler on Saguaro Cactus
.....which made for the best day ever:) 
Western Tanager


  1. the sandpiper is really beautiful! great feather patterns!

  2. Since I love colors, I'm in love with the Tanager... Wow... BUT--that Sandpiper is an awesome bird also. You got some great photos.


  3. Preciosa imágenes.. Saludos desde España..

  4. Congrats on your Stilt Sandpiper, it is a beauty! I also love the Western Tanager. It is a beautiful bird, so colorful. Great shots!

  5. Such a sweet bird that STSA...

    I had the privilege of seeing one briefly in Gilbert early this May, no photos though. Yours are splendid!

  6. As much as I love dogs, sometimes I don't much like their owners.

    Those last shots of the sandpiper with open wings are fabulous.

  7. Love the "drop everything and run" enthusiasm, glad it paid off!

  8. Hooray for you and the bird for being rescued. LOVE that tanger! :o)

  9. That Stilt Sandpiper malted my face Chris! It is Gorgeous!! Big congrats on the lifer.

  10. Sounds like a successful 'hunt' Chris, sorry about the irresponsible dog owners :(

  11. The Stilt Sandpiper is majestic looking with its wings spread out - you have very good shots there. The Tanager is not difficult to love with its bright cheery colours.

  12. I really admire your images of the small birds Chris, I'm hopeless at catching them, but determined to keep trying :)

  13. Well done on the Sandpiper - great photo too :)

    Sorry to hear about the irresponsible dog owners :(

  14. Okay, you and I need to go birding together again because you are seeing way too many good birds without me!!!!!

  15. I've only seena Western Tanager at the Sonoran Desert Museum! LOVED that you saw the sandpiper! How exciting!!!!!


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