The body grows tired, and my work gets mixed up in flowers, lizards, snakes, bats and bugs. But onward I trekked with an amazing crew of wildlife trackers and herpers. Being one of two birders, we safely entered the state of Sonora, Mexico which borders the southern part of Arizona.
I'm not a rough and rugged hiker as I do prefer the softer side of camping. And yes, camping can be fun and comfortable! One of my big dislikes for this time of year comes in the form of scaly fanged critters known as snakes. It makes birding a challenge! There were rattlesnakes and other venomous creatures hanging out in the thick grasses. In one situation, I had a Black-tailed Rattler sound off with a loud "RAAAAATTTTLE!" and flee further back into the grasses! I did my heebie jeebie dance and got away from the area. The herper with me was sad that it had escaped. While I was freaking out, he was running after the snake! Hopefully he didn't look back and see me doing my willy nilly freak out. And yes, guys can admit that snakes freak them out. Just don't kill them. They are good to have around.....just not my personal space. Herpers are a fascinating group of people. Both birders and herpers are nerds in their own sense but I'll just say that one group is wilder than the other:) Might have to challenge those stereotypes!
It was hard to ignore the many beautiful butterflies around the area. However our mission was to track Jaguars. These elusive creatures had been found around several spots and so we went to check equipment around the various locations.
|Africanized Bees! Very dangerous when a swarm becomes upset. Each year several people will die from their stings.|
|Ocotillo line a wash|
|Madrean Alligator Lizard|
|Common Lesser Earless Lizard|
The warbler migration has begun. Most evident were the Nashville, MacGillivray's, Yellow and Wilson's Warblers dripping from the trees! They were everywhere. Blue Grosbeaks and Yellow-breasted Chats were also very abundant.
However, my mission this year was to observe Five-striped Sparrows and a Green Kingfisher. I could not relocate the Rose-throated Becard. Their nest was still present, but no one was home!
A special thank you goes out to Kathy Cooper and her daughter Mary Ann for making such wonderful meals. It truly takes talent to work off the grid feeding a group of people without having the use of electricity. Each meal was an amazing piece of art and our group was grateful for their hard work. Kathy and Mary Ann, you both are one of a kind. Thank you for organizing this spectacular event.