|The carpeted green valley below Kitt Peak|
|a Canyon Wren plays hide and go seek with us|
|Yarrow's Spiny Lizard|
|a stock photo from several years ago on Kitt Peak. This is the area we covered birding|
|juvenile Mexican Jay|
|Bordered Patch Butterfly|
|Plains Lubber Grasshopper|
|Gordon and Micheal scour the Desert Museum property for butterflies, lizards, birds and other odd insects|
|San Esteban Island x Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana|
|male Bighorn Sheep struts his stuff|
Eventually we made it to the aviary. This year, I have spoken with many people about this subspecies of Northern Bobwhite below. The Masked Bobwhite is VERY rare and can only be found at the very close border of Mexico and Arizona on a few ranch lands.
|the extinct-in-the-wild subspecies of Northern Bobwhite(Masked Quail)|
I know it's a caged bird, but it's so rare in the wild that practically no one has seen these birds at all beyond a stuffed model on display for what used to live in the grasslands. To see them like this close up was spectacular. Over the years, I've seen only one in the aviary and she was always hiding. Not on this day!
And that chick was adorable.
After work, I'm exhausted. The heat drains the life out of me. The mornings are lovely and it's really the only time to do any birding. You get a 4 hour window and that's it.
|Birding in Dateland and surrounding areas for shorebirds|
QUOTE: "Birding during the hot challenging times brings us beauty, some excellent finds and maybe a disappointment once and awhile."ReplyDelete
And yet, when I brought my Swedish wife and her kids out to Tucson and Sonoran Desert Museum on a day of over 100+ F, we saw tonnes more birds & sounds than any cool wet Swedish boreal forest (almost none) environment here. Go figure!
It's incredible isn't it? I always think, how can something thrive in this heat? And yet they do. After our Hawaii excursion, I know what you say about the Boreal forest. Has it always been that way? Or were there once plenty of birds in that area? Still, Sweden sounds like a lovely place.Delete
No it hasn't. Much of the landscape here has been almost entirely converted over to industrial forestry of monoculture conifers. There are relatively few pocket woodlands left of what the natural ecology once was. Mainly southern and central Sweden were hardwood broadleaf forests, mostly Oaks. (Quercus robur). Amazing Oak, in a healthy forests they grow straight high and tall. Sweden was a major ship builder even for other countries wanting quality wooden sailing ships. So most of the Oak forest was decimated for profit. Most forests are so monoculture now and dense, little lives in them inlarge numbers. But the eerie silence is what first struck me. Many native birds live nearer to urban open environments. For example Magpies. None live in the wild areas, only around cities and towns.Delete
I recently read an article from Canada about Magoies in the wild there and they perform an interesting service for the moose. They seek out moose and land on and groom them for their ticks. But many magpie family groups have forgotten this behaviour as they live in and around humans and scavenge off their new host's trash. When I have seen Magpies within the forest edges, I see them methodically going through the forest floor and turning over the mosses and lichens which may contain earthworms for which Sweden has millions. But it is interesting as to what benefits this may provide to the plant life all the surface disturbance. I'm going to do another post on Mapie behaviour soon.
Here are a couple pics of Magpie disturbance of moss and lichen ground covers.
disturbed moss lichen carpet
Closer view of moss upside down
Hello, Chris! Sounds like an awesome day of birding. Wonderful sightings and photos. Enjoy your day and weekend!ReplyDelete
Loved this account, and thanks for the shout out to the AZ-Sonoran DM. I need a fall road trip, and that sounds like the perfect destination.ReplyDelete
This is the perfect stop for your fall trip:) My fall trip usually goes up to Northern Arizona:)Delete
Your photos are beautiful - loved the scenery, the birds, wild flowers and butterflies. So glad you found somewhere cooler to go birding.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I'll be stopping by soon to catch up again. Things are beginning to slow down here again which is nice. Hope you are well!Delete
Chris, it's me Magpie!!! I have often come to check out your blog and read about all the wonderful things you are doing. Haven't commented because I'm such a bad blogger. Your shot are beautiful, as always. I am playing around with starting my blog back up...you never know with me.ReplyDelete
HOLY. COW! It has been forever! So glad you are alive! Not even a peep from you. What a flashback! Thank you so much for stopping by and making my day. What a happy occasion! Since we've "met", I've changed so much into a birder that it's not even funny. I now even guide people....thanks in part to this blog:) I hope you begin to write again. It's okay. We all take breaks, short and long. But it's so good to hear from you!Delete
Some amazing scenery and lovely birds! I really love the Canyon Wren :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad to know you can still make mistakes. Aren't you glad you have Magill? Good times! Keep on birding my friend, but I am starting to slow down, too.ReplyDelete