Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A day west of Phoenix - 23 Feb 2013

Started out on Saturday way out west of Phoenix, even further west than Buckeye.  My first stop was a little known place to search for the elusive LeConte's Thrasher and found out that it is still elusive.  Have been to this spot a couple times before and have found it, but not this time, so I settled for some Sage Sparrows (which is always a nice find), some Lincoln's Sparrows and one of my favorite birds, a couple of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers.  

 Sage Sparrow

 Sage Sparrow

 Lincoln's Sparrow

 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

  Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Having failed to locate the thrasher, I then backtracked to the 'infamous' Buckeye Thrasher Spot only to find a lot of birders there with the same goal.  One group had traveled from Tucson and there was another group from Phoenix and there were a few others birding on their own.  One of them just happened to be fellow bird blogger extraordinaire Lawrence Butler.  Guess I should have came to this spot first as some others had sighted the Le Conte's Thrashers before I arrived.  I had to settle for Sage and Bendire's Thrashers, but even those are always nice to find.  On the road to the 'thrasher' spot, I did have to hit my brakes so I could capture of a photo of a nice Red-tailed Hawk regally perched on the top of a Saguaro Cactus on the side of the road.

Red-tailed Hawk

Although I did not get any photos at the thrasher spot, I also got the privilege of meeting a young and enthusiastic and very knowledgeable birder, Alex and his parents.  It is very refreshing to see young people show such an interest in ornithology and know the future generations will be here to carry on with the love of our avian world.  The 5 of us then joined forces and traveled up and down the roads in and around Arlington where Alex and family found their first ever Sandhill Cranes.  We all then parted our ways and I slowly drove the roads in the Buckeye/Arlington farm grounds where I snapped a couple of photos along the way.  Most notably, a couple of Loggerhead Shrikes and an American Kestrel.  I watched the Kestrel as it dove down from the electrical wire to the ground and when it flew back to a perch on the crossbar, I noticed one leg was hanging a bit low.  Guess the photo shows its small insect morsel that it had captured.

 Loggerhead Shrike

American Kestrel

And my final photo, to take us away from the avian theme, is one of a domesticated goat.  But looking at the photo, another critter is trying to get noticed on the left!


Might not have seen my target bird the Le Conte's Thrasher, but overall, it turned out to be a great day.  Had a couple more stops when I got back into Phoenix, but will do a separate blog post on those two stops.



   


3 comments:

  1. Nicely done Gordon with the shots of the Gnatcatcher and Sage Sparrow. Both great little birds to capture on camera but tricky!! I'm currently chasing the Crissal...and then it will be onto the LeContes!:)

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  2. Thanks Chris, Good luck on your Thrasher hunt! The Le Conte's is probably the hardest as it has a very limited range and habitat. But the Crissal can sometime be a challenge as well. Hope you find both!
    Gordon

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  3. Aww shucks Gordon.

    It was great to run into you out there, despite it being weird to have those other big groups at romping around too, and it was also fun to link up with the Grant family--I hope they visit your blog.

    Nice work with those little feathered predators, especially that iron-fisted Kestrel. Lincoln's Sparrow strikes me as a really good and unusual find out there at the Trasher spot. I've never seen that species out there. Nice work! It's a super handsome Sparrow, one to make the 16th U.S. President proud!

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