|Candle burning, map, water and laptop to plan for the next day|
|Micheal hiding behind some grasses looking for....whatever!|
With the little time we had left in Utah, our windows were closing to find two new birds to add to that ever growing life list. Our first mission took us to Utah Lake which is south of Salt Lake City. It was there we were hoping to find the LBBG. These gulls are common in Europe, but here in Utah, they are a reliable rare visitor. However, this particular gull was an early winter arrival. Their numbers seem to be increasing each year in the US. Will they eventually become the next House Sparrow or European Starling? I love gull ID, but my other half, Micheal does not. So while I sifted through the large numbers of gulls, Micheal spoke with his brother on the phone.
|Lesser Black-backed Gull surrounded by the smaller Ring-billed Gulls|
|Clark's Grebe-not a great photo but one good for an ID|
What a gem of a city park!
While we walked around this park, we enjoyed the good breezes and lovely pond area.
And while we had a lot of great birds, we weren't seeing our target, the California Quail.
So on a hunch, and overall curiosity, we explored the Tracy Aviary next door. This is a lovely area for families to explore and learn about Utah's amazing birds. There were several birds from other countries, but overall, the aviary does highlight the local waterfowl, raptors and owls. As for my hunch, it paid off. Working at the Tucson Botanical Gardens years ago, I remembered that Gambel's Quail loved to hang out in our native gardens. Tracy's Aviary had that same perfect habitat for these quail. When I heard that typical quail cluck clucking, I knew we were going to hit the jackpot.
Of course, birds are the main reason why we explore. But don't think for one minute that we didn't enjoy a glass of wine or visit a place to have dinner or just....explore. People have told me, including my family, that I exhaust them during a vacation. Again, there's always so much to see in such little time! (I have a very strong wanderlust.:)
Either way, we both were looking forward to our visits in Colorado and New Mexico. We both love these two states very much. Colorado is an American favorite. And New Mexico is America's best kept secret. Every time we go, we explore a new location and just fall in love with the state even more.
|Monument Valley National Park-pretty but not very birdy and full of tourists.|