Friday, January 16, 2009

Quick Trip to Southeast Arizona

I was in Phoenix for a convention and thought I'd try for some of the recent rarities in the Tucson area. After dipping on the Patagonia Lake Rufous-backed Robin I headed for Florida Canyon for Rufous-capped Warbler. I had forgotten to print directions up the wash but had read them enough I had unknowingly memorized them! The entire canyon was silent. I heard the distant call of a Lesser Goldfinch at one point and began to feel as though I was hiking in vain. I reached the spot where the warblers had mostly been seen and spent 20 minutes without luck until I remembered there was another spot upstream that was favored more recently. After another 200yds up the canyon I reached a flat area where there had been a fire at one point. It was there that one of the reported three RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS made itself known in the thick brush on the side of the wash. I was able to get a couple great (but brief) looks as it foraged about 6-10 feet back in the brush. What a stunner! It never came out for a photo.

The next day my time was short as I was planning on having lunch in Scottsdale with an old friend. I decided to head over the the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for some photo opps. I was not disappointed...

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS made a nice showing in the Hummingbird Aviary

This male COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD was very difficult...often perching in terrible light or under cover of the dense vegetation

There was a single female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD vigorously defending her feeding station

This BARN OWL was on the arm of a docent at one of the educational stops

In the aviary there was a WESTERN TANAGER...

...several doves including this BAND-TAILED PIGEON...

...a very out of place BLUE-WINGED TEAL...

...and one of the ubiquitous CACTUS WRENS.

In speaking with one of the volunteers I found out that most of the birds are from local rehabilitation facilities.


Rene C. Reyes said...

Beautiful photos! These are just excellent.

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