|My weekly observations at Reid Park includes watching people watch birds.|
|My favorite habitat in Arizona, the grasslands. And my favorite group of birds, the sparrows!|
|Magical and breathtaking, the open spaces of our Arizona grasslands make me feel alive|
|Sheri, Jennifer and Peggy observe some great sparrows.|
|We sit at a water tank whispering and watching birds come to take a sip. This Savannah Sparrow is thirsty....and wary!|
|Jennifer and Sheri are enjoying the butterfly show|
|Northern Cardinal at the Patagonia State Park feeders|
It was a very good week full of surprises. We had Cackling Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers everywhere, and something even more rare and special, a Couch's Kingbird.
A Couch's Kingbird is a bird that might be seen in southern Texas but more commonly observed in Mexico. And here's how this chase organically evolved in Tucson. One day I went to bird at Ft. Lowell Park. I spotted Red Crossbills crunching away on pine cones. They were a nice find and I posted my sightings. Then Melissa Williams went to find them the next day. In the process of birding the park, she found an unusual out-of-place kingbird.
She posted on Facebook that she thought it was a little late for a Tropical Kingbird to be in Tucson. And she was right. The next day, the Tucson birding crew all met up in one of those rare gatherings. For a long while, we all worked together to figure out Melissa's bird and at the end of taking audio samples and photos, we concluded that her bird was a very special and rare Couch's Kingbird, a first record for Pima County! This is not an easy bird to ID. It looks a lot like our Tropical Kingbird:) If the bird calls, the ID is a snap. Luckily for all of us, this kingbird made the "kip" calls.
Soon my professional lens will back and I will be preparing for some arctic cold temps in the North. Until next time....