Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Seven Springs Wash - The Morning After

'There's got to be a morning after', or so goes the theme song from the Poseidon Adventure movie and such was the case after spending a pretty full day of birding the Santa Cruz Flats (see previous post).  I contacted another birding friend, Muriel Neddermeyer, to see if she might be interested in checking out the Seven Springs Wash area, north of Carefree, Arizona on Sunday morning.  She too had spent a full day on Saturday at the infamous Thrasher Spot, and we both decided to go for a couple of hours as there had been several reports of Bluebirds in this area and we thought it would be nice to see if we could get some photos of some of them. We were only going to spend a couple of hours and then get home.  Wrong!  We found the Bluebirds and more and had a very enjoyable day of birding. 
 
We started out by following some instructions by our friends, Scott and Fonda Christopher, and found FR 562 and drove up the road to the cattle guard and parked and started walking.  The grasses and trees were full of birds; several species of sparrows, Western Bluebirds, and American Robins.  Then Muriel noticed something a bit different and we quickly discovered it was a Sage Thrasher.  Not a rare bird by any means, but also not that common and not always easy to find.  This one decided it did not want to come out in the sun to show itself very well, so most of our photos had to contend with a lot of shade, but we did manage to obtain a couple of photos. 
 
 Sage Thrasher
 
Sage Thrasher
 
We returned to the turnoff at the bottom of the wash and discovered the various pools of water and at the same time, we discovered that was the attraction at this time of the day for the Bluebirds.  By far the most numerous were Mountain Bluebirds followed closely by Western Bluebirds.  The Mountain Bluebird male is stunning especially if you like the color blue.  I have seen these birds in higher elevations in the summer in pairs, but this was winter and they had migrated to lower elevations in vast numbers.  What a sight to behold as they would land in the trees, then survey the area around the water and once they felt safe, they went down to drink and bathe.
 
 Mountain Bluebirds
 
Mountain Bluebirds
 
 Mountain Bluebird
 
 Mountain Bluebirds
 
Mountain Bluebird
 
Now that you are tired of looking at this shade of blue, how about tossing in another shade of blue, along with a bit of orange, that of the Western Bluebird. 
 
Western Bluebird
 
Bluebirds were not the only visitors that stopped by for a visit.  We were also blessed to have a small group of Cedar Waxwings stop by to check us out.  This is one of my favorite birds as they have a very sleek appearance to them.  Their call is a very high pitched whistle that often goes undetected, but in this case we were hearing them quite well.
 
 Cedar Waxwing
 
 Cedar Waxwing
 
Cedar Waxwing
 
We had other birds visiting as well, but usually considered not quite as colorful as these first 3 species.  This included a Chipping Sparrow and a Rock Wren that was enjoying the water as much as the other birds. 
 
 Chipping Sparrow
 
 Rock Wren
 
Rock Wren
 
Well our couple of hours turned out to be a bit longer than we planned, but how can one leave a spot like this with all the great birds that we were seeing?  Just reminds me of how great Arizona is for birding, year round. 
 
 
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Wow gordon, those Bluebird shots are fantastic!

    I was at the Seven Spring Recreation area a few weeks ago and it was comparatively abandoned, very little bird activity overall, though I had individuals and such of the expected species, but it was largely unsatisfying. This looks like a great, bounteous trip!.

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