Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pima Canyon Wash, South Mountain Park - 23 Sept 2012

After a day at the Agua Fria National Monument, I knew that I needed exercise on Sunday and the thought of the treadmill just did not excite me, so I opted for my favorite hiking spot, Pima Canyon Wash in South Mountain Park.  I live almost right between this spot and the Gilbert Riparian Water Preserve, so naturally those 2 places get visited most frequently.  Pima Canyon Wash is most generally pretty reliable for the same species on each trip and this one was only different by finding a House Wren on this trip.  Had never seen one here before, and am guessing it is only a passing migrant, but a good find anyway.  No photos, but that is not unusual for this little go-getter.  I was concerned though as only one of the Great-horned Owls was in the normal roosting spot, so am not sure if the other one was out on a distant foraging flight or if something may have happened to it.  I am going to think positive for now, but will have to check up on it on a future trip. 
Going to start off with unusual little bird of the American Southwest, the Verdin.  It belongs to the family Remizidae and is the only species of this family that is found in North America.  At one time it was classified with the chickadee family and some think it might be related to the gnatcatchers, but currently it is in a family all to itself.  It is a small bird about only 4½" in length and is an active little bird and is quite handsome in its own right.  They are a very common resident in Arizona and I have a special attraction to this bird as one of them let me capture a very nice photo about a year ago and that photo got selected to be in the Arizona Game & Fish 2012 Calendar last year.  This trip I had another one pose for me and allowed me to capture some decent photos.

Last week I had a Green-tailed Towhee that allowed me to capture a decent photo, but this week it was back to the normal 'get-what-you-can-while-you-have-the-chance' kind of day.  As mentioned in my last post, these birds are notorious in not allowing easy photos as you can see below.
Green-tailed Towhee
Also had a Canyon Towhee that was a bit camera shy.
Canyon Towhee
To round out my bird photos, here is a photo of a stern looking Curve-billed Thrasher with that gold eye glaring at me and also a not-so-great photo of a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Curve-billed Thrasher

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

And then to mix in a 'herp' I found this lizard which I believe is a Common Lesser Earless Lizard.  Now I don't know why or how it got that long name, but it seems a bit redundant for a name and one that is easily forgotten by the time I see the next one.
Common Lesser Earless Lizard

I also had a great day with some Rock Wrens, but I am going to issue a separate post on that bird so it will have its moment of glory.  That will be forthcoming later in the week.



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