Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Long Way Home

A very cooperative Crissal Thrasher in Prescott, AZ
Once the Lesser Sand Plover was seen, it was time to have fun and bird our way back down to Tucson.  This trek would take us to Prescott and then into Phoenix.  And along the way, we'd visit with wonderful friends Cynthia and Roger and Gordon and Chuck.  

Willow Lake in Prescott with Cynthia and Kathie
We spent a night in beautiful Prescott with Cynthia and Roger.  And it was here that Kathie was able to explore for the first time the beautiful Watson and Willow Lakes.  

Juvenile Gray Hawk at Sweetwater Wetlands
And along the way, we spotted so many wonderful birds.  Outside of Phoenix, Gordon took us to find Kathie's lifer Juniper Titmouse.  

Juniper Titmouse at Seven Springs
The heat was still killing my spirit, but we were all together and so we forgot about the melting ice in the cooler:)  Until we braked and my back felt a wonderful splash of ice cold water!  I don't know where the time went but it all flew by much too quickly!

Kathie at Bartlett Lake in Maricopa Country
We watched a Yellow-headed Blackbird casually stroll along the shore to Kathie's delight. 

Yellow-headed Blackbird at Bartlett Lake
Kathie was quickly reminded how hot it got in Arizona.  I think part of her missed Maine.  I understand that feeling. But the Arizona landscapes are way more picturesque.  Perhaps I am a bit bias:)

Gordon and Kathie search geographical locations to visit from Humbodlt Peak
To be honest.  Coming straight from Monterey, I had birded for a full week and it was showing.  My birding powers were waning. So I was grateful for Gordon and Cynthia taking over their lands and showing us their worlds.  Cynthia is from Yavapai country while Gordon represents Maricopa.  I am Pima. 

Townsend's Solitaire
Eventually, we made it back down to Tucson where we took it "slow" and birded locally.  Even then, we had lots of rare birds pop up on every one of our counts!

Black Vultures at Coachline "Lake" in Tucson
Quite honestly, I don't know where the time went, but we had a lot of fun.  Kathie noticed that I wasn't myself.  And she was correct.  I had wanted to bird for a full week during my fall break and we sure did bird. But I was tired!  From Monterey to Flagstaff to Prescott to Phoenix to Tucson!  During my first weekend alone, I slept!  What a wonderful and deep sleep it was!

One of 2 Wood Ducks reported at Reid Park in Tucson
 But our time was winding down and I was reminded that soon I'd be back to work. 

Celeste threw a party and we had a wonderful time saying good-bye to one another over several bottles of wine:)  It's hard saying good-bye.  I just hide it better than most.  Life revolves around birds for me BUT life is more than just the birds.  It's about the people and friendships that form because of the birds. 

By the end of the week, I felt like we had done an amazing job exploring the world of Arizona.  A special thank you to Celeste, Dom, Gordon, Chuck, Cynthia and Roger for one hell of a week. The Lesser Sand Plover trek lasted 4 days total and what an amazing trek it was!  Kathie, I miss you and love you.  Our next trek will be to Monhegan Island.  You will not get sea sick.  And maybe Gordon will join us?  For now, I am going to rest.  My body and mind are both exhausted.  Life is a wonderful adventure but I sure do need my sleep:)  Until next time.....


  1. That certainly was a wonderful adventure and with great company. have a wel earned rest noow Chris

  2. "BUT life is more than just the birds. It's about the people and friendships that form because of the birds.". I copied that because i can relate to that, in our case "hoya"and "butterflies". And i remember, friend Kreesh, the first time i commented on your blog post, that beard is still fully black! hahaha

  3. A super post and photos Chris - lovely to read of your adventures with friends :) Hope you managed a good rest when it was all over.

  4. You may be exhausted, but what a wonderful way to get tired. All this wonderful birding and traveling and visiting with friends make for a good kind of tired.

  5. Thanks for sharing a great time birding with friends.

  6. A great post, Chris. Sometimes solitary birding is the right thing to do. Other times, birding with friends brings so many rewards - from the simple benefit of extra pairs of eyes, right through to the pleasure of sharing an experience with others, on the spot and at future encounters.

    I hope that you're having a great week - - - Richard

  7. many beautiful birds and people :)

  8. Hello Chris!:) It's always a pleasure to see your photos, and read about your treks when you go it alone, or when you are with people you care about. Lovely post Chris!:) The Yellow-headed Blackbird is a stunning looking bird, and so is the impressive looking Crissal Thrasher, but all your smiling happy faces was good to see too. Enjoy your rest Chris, and all the best.

  9. Hi Chris. You are just a very sociable person and I do so like that last picture with those budies of yours. Arizona does lokk like a wonderful,spacious place in which to spend time birding and those are some pretty special species you showed us. I'm wondering if your NA Black Vulture is the same species which occurs in Europe. I think I need to look that up. Have fun my friend.

    1. I wonder the same thing. I'm imagining that they are the same. A lot of my friends who have birded in Europe have said that you have some of the same birds. So, it's a good question. Black Vultures have a very healthy range:)

  10. Crissal Thrasher is one of my favourite desert birds. If Trump has his way you are going to have a whole lot more desert in which to see them.

    1. I so hate that guy. He is a piece of %$^&. Over half the voters of this country are super angry at the ignorant racist savages who think Trump will pull them out of debt. The ones that didn't vote will wish they had voted. This guy is not my president. He and his cronies are total losers.


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