Saturday, December 22, 2012
BTA & Oak Flats - 22 December 2012
Took a little trip east for a short visit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and then a few more miles on to the Oak Flats Campground. Guess it was a short scouting trip for the upcoming Superior CBC (Christmas Bird Count). This time of the year CBC's are taking place all over the US and Canada as well as many other places in the world. This is an Audubon sponsored function and it compiles many statistics of our avian friends. I will be participating in 3 of them this year and really look forward to these day long adventures where we count not just species but also the number of birds of each species.
First stop was at Boyce Thompson Arboretum where I spent just a little over an hour. It was a shorter than normal visit, but as usual, always worth while. The picnic area was the most prolific for bird life and recently it has been home to a few passing rarities. Nothing rare today, but did find a Cassin's Vireo foraging in one of the trees along with a Curve-billed Thrasher.
And of course, Mr. & Mrs. Northern Cardinal made their presence known as well. This location is one of the best places to see these handsome birds in Arizona.
A couple of other birds that presented themselves for me were the Cactus Wren which was very inquisitive near the main entrance and a single American Coot on Ayer Lake.
My next stop was Oak Flat Campgrounds a few miles east of Superior and when I arrived this place was full of birds. The area must have received some good rain there in the last week as the stream bed actually had water flowing in it and the pond on the west end contained more water than I have ever seen at this location. Only spent about hour at this location, but during that time, I was able to capture photos of a Chipping Sparrow, a Canyon Towhee and a Northern Flicker. Saw many other birds but did not get any photos due to my abbreviated visit.
It will be interesting to see what birds will still be around when we do our CBC there this coming week. Oak Flats CG will part of the the area that my group will be surveying, so I am looking forward to finding a lot of great birds.