Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Coon Bluff, Salt River-Revisited

The birding forays are starting to get a bit short due to the Arizona summer heat and I for one do not usually have an enjoyable time birding in the extreme heat.  Today I took about a 2 hour stroll in the Coon Bluff Recreation Area along the Salt River.  I did see a lot of good birds, including Lesser Nighthawks, Northern Cardinals, Bullock's Orioles, a Blue Grosbeak, a lot of Ash-throated Flycatchers and a lot of Vermilion Flycatchers to name just a few.  But my photography came away with more non-avian photos than usual.  Thought it would be fun to share them anyway.

First photo is a shot of some of the wild horses that roam around in different areas of the Salt River.  Guess there are a few groups and this morning I found a group of 6 at Salt River including a young colt.  I really enjoy seeing them when they are present.

Salt River Horses


Along the Salt River, (that is flowing with a fast and steady stream), among the rocks, I found several squirrels.  Not sure what species they are, but they had quite a network of tunnels among the rocks.

Squirrel

I ventured a bit further down the river today than I had in the past and the path got quite narrow following the cliffs.  Will have to explore that area a bit further on a future visit.  While on that path, a Tarantula Hawk (which is a species of a wasp) landed on a leafy stem and what a colorful insect to see.  However, I have been told by many that the sting from one of these wasps is one of the most painful of all insects.  I really have no desire to find out if that is true or not, so I will observe them from a distance!  Nice to have a zoom lens when photographing these colorful gems.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp


I did manage to capture one bird in a photo and that was a newly fledged Black Phoebe.  These birds are almost always found around water and they spend their days foraging for insect in flight.

Black Phoebe

Not a lot of photos, but still had a great time and saw some really cool stuff!

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