Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dudleyville CBC - 5 January 2013

This year I took part in a 4th CBC (Christmas Bird Count) and this was a new area for me.  It was centered near the small town of Dudleyville  AZ.  A very good friend of mine, Muriel and I were asked to fill in for another couple that had prior commitments this year and we both jumped at the chance to check out this new area.  (By the way, Muriel has taught me more about photography than any other person, so a lot of my photo knowledge is a credit to her.)  Probably the biggest highlight for both of us was the sighting of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  This is a fairly rare bird to be found in Arizona and can be difficult to find and also to identify.  The Red-naped Sapsucker is much more common in Arizona and is very similar in appearance.  One has to check them out very closely to make sure one is got the correct ID.  The great part about this one was the fact that both of us were able to capture photos that documents the correct ID.  Note the red throat patch and how it is completely framed by a black border.  This is a key identification mark for this bird.  On the Red-naped Sapsucker this black border is broken and has a small area where the red touches the white.

 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Another specialty bird that we found was a Rufous-winged Sparrow.  This bird is usually only seen in the United States in Arizona and this location is most likely its most northern range.  Note the 2 black whisker marks which is one of the key identification marks this bird has.

 Rufous-winged Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

While birding the Central Arizona College Campus, we were treated by a male Vermilion Flycatcher that was not showing much fear with us being around as it was actively foraging for insects in the grass.  Although  it is not a crisp clean shot, one of my photos captured it launching an attack mode on a hapless unsuspecting insect in the grass below.

 Vermilion Flycatcher

 Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

A couple of other birds that allowed decent photos were a Cactus Wren and a Rock Wren.  The Cactus Wren clearly shows why it was so aptly named.  How they avoid being stuck by spines is amazing.  And the Rock Wren was a bit contrary to its name, opting to land on a dirt path instead of bouncing around in the rocks.

 Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

Rock Wren

Both of us were so glad we went and look forward to joining in next year as well. 




1 comment:

  1. Nice shots Gordon. That Vermillion Flycatcher is outrageous!

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