Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A World Away

Saguaro Lake
Sometimes life gets crazy.  It definitely can be challenging.  In this fast paced life, I find that nature can be very healing.

Double-crested Cormorant at Christopher Columbus Park in Tucson
Sometimes it's not so much the birds but the escape that they provide.  It isn't fiction. I do travel quite a bit.  It's what I do best. I used to hike the same trail at the same time every day....and it got boring.  Once I started birding, I realized that I could make my walks more interesting by following the birds.

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet at Agua Caliente Park in Tucson
This past week had been a lot of fun as I trekked from our snow topped mountains to sod farms outside of Phoenix with friend Gordon Karre.  Our weather here has been wonderful.  Therefore, it's difficult to resist the urge to explore.

Pied-billed Grebe catching a snack at Agua Caliente Park
My first trek took me to Summerhaven up on Mt. Lemmon.  There was quite a bit of snow and ice up there as I hiked around my usual areas searching for the birds. 

Olive Warbler
 And surprise surprise! I lucked out by finding ONE Olive Warbler.

Agua Caliente Park
As I came down from the mountain, I decided to stop at the nearby Agua Caliente park.  And I'm glad I did!  I found their first of the year sightings of the highly sought after Northern Beardless Tyrannulets!  Pretty exciting stuff.

Yellow-eyed Junco on Summerhaven, Mt. Lemmon
Then it was off with Gordon to the Rousseau Sod Farms and Saguaro Lake in Maricopa County.  

Bald Eagle near the Salt River outside of Phoenix
A lot of the birds seen around these areas aren't as common in Tucson or around Pima county.  So many of them were first of the year birds for me. Or as birders write.....FOY.

Common Goldeneye on the Salt River
The canals around Phoenix and surrounding cities are full of really amazing ducks, geese, herons, hawks, etc. As we were looking across the agricultural fields, we'd have several birds fly up and pass over our heads.

Common Merganser near the Russo Sod Farm outside of Phoenix
Flycatchers are fun.  This bird below gets confused with the Dusky Flycatcher BUT if the birder pays attention, it can be a simple ID.  This Gray Flycatcher pumped its' tail downwards making the ID a snap.

Gray Flycatcher at Saguaro Lake
This is the first decent photo documentation that I've taken of this bird.  My first time I saw one, I used my Iphone to snap a pic. After that, I had seen them in many other locations, but the branches always got in the way of the bird! 

We counted many American Pipits at the Sod Farm.  Most of the them were feeding around the greens.

American Pipit at the Russo Sod Farm
Along the canals, we had beautiful views of an Osprey kiting.

Osprey near the canals of the Sod Farm
Beauty is everywhere and only a walk away.  And it's a great way to clear the mind after a crazy day at work!

Where will we go next week?  Stay tuned for more!


  1. Chris, another great outing..The Olive Warbler is pretty and I like the yellow eyed Junco. Cool capture of the Osprey! Great post and images, happy birding!

  2. Certainly, tours and trips to the beautiful bird watching is a great rest of everyday life. Regards.

  3. Chris, I am glad to see that you are still getting around to see all the birds! I would love to see that Olive Warbler! Nice photos as always.

  4. Чудова публікація! Перше фото моє улюблене! Дуже гарні кольори!

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

  5. Beautiful birds, each and everyone, cheers Chris.

  6. Lots of nice sightings (several I do not know) on your outing. Love that last shot!

  7. AZ's diversity is amazing, from snowy mts to dry desert and water filled lakes/reservoirs. Of course all offering different birds. I sense you've slowed down a little in your searching. Not slowed the searching, just slowed while searching.

  8. I do like the pine cone shot, and hearing about other peoples walks!

  9. A superb walk and a grand selection of birds.

  10. Definitely staying tuned Chris :) j'adore seeing your bird images, especially the smaller honey eaters, I find it almost impossible to catch a shot of them, which makes me enjoy yours all the more :)

  11. Hello Chris!:) Unlike you I don't go in search of birds, but wait for them to come to me, so don't see many different species. This is why I like to visit, to see what you have found. The Olive Warbler was a good find,..such a pretty bird.Great shots of the Osprey and Bald Eagle, birds I would love to see and photograph in real time. Good luck with more sightings.
    Take care.

  12. Gorgeous photos Chris and a great outing. Looks like you've got your year list off to a great start. Look forward to the next adventure :)

  13. yes, nature IS very healing.
    i always love your pictures...whether birds or landscape. so much beauty! i love the eagle, osprey, flying merganser & goldeneye!

  14. I stay tuned for sure. It is always so interesting to discover what you were expecting or not expecting.

  15. Great shot of the Flycatcher ...not a branch in the way at all this time!

  16. Sounds like a fun trip - and not just for all the FOY sightings! Love the merganser pic, also the first and last photos!

  17. Hi there Kreesh, still remember me? I have not been posting here for a while, and also been out for more than 2 months. I am reviving my posts here especially from my travels recently.

    If you have time, i suggest you do some birding also in Australia and New Zealand. I stayedl longer in NZ and saw lots of birds, and lots of amazing landscapes! Best regards.

  18. Of course I remember you Andrea! Glad you're back and had a great time over there. Thanks for the suggestions!

  19. A wonderful trip with such great scenery and so many birds!

  20. Lots of great birds here. The Eagle is my favorite, I would love to photograph one someday. Also loved that first shot and the last one. Beautiful countryside.

  21. The weather does look perfect for birding, Chris! I didn't know there were Yellow-eyed Juncos! Cool!

  22. love the sweet flycatchers. LOVE the eagle shot!

  23. Wonderful series of bird shots. I especially lovee the Goldeneye and Eagle.

  24. Super post Chris. Always interesting to see where your footsteps have taken you and the varied wildlife seen.

  25. Great photos and variety of birds you saw on your walk!

  26. A great outing for you Chris, and your FOY birds sound stunning. Well yes, I do have to agree that just walking without looking seems rather pointless to me. When I see folk on a trek or walk and none of them with camera or binos I do worry about all the good things they will never see or experience.


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