Sunday, March 22, 2015
After Work Hike
Been neglecting my blog site for way too long. Have not been doing a lot of big trips out and about, but still have not stopped my birding, even though some have been a bit shorter than usual. This past Friday, I decided to take a hike in Pima Canyon Wash after work. Yes, there was a motive for this quickly planned hike. Last fall I had discovered a Long-eared Owl in this location and on Thursday, I received an email from another birder that had went hiking out there on Thursday and also found a Long-eared Owl, so of course I wanted to at least make an attempt to see if it might still be there. Once again I struck out on the LEOW, but it was not a wasted trip at all. A five mile hike is always a positive thing and of course I had had a lot of the regular common birds. Most of the time, I now observe and bypass most of the common regular birds and only lift my camera when they present themselves for great viewing or might be engaging in a special activity.
Thus, an experience worth sharing did take place as I was returning from far up in the canyon. I noticed a Loggerhead Shrike in a mesquite, not far from the trail and with the branches slightly swaying in the wind, I attempted to get a photo of it; evidence by the first photo.
What happened next was a bit unexpected. The bird I was photographing took flight and headed down the wash, and a second Loggerhead Shrike flew in and landed in another, but small tree in front of the first tree. I was amazed at how close it came in to where I was standing. It then proceeded to capture and then dine on a moth that it had found. All of this taking place right in front of me about 20 feet away. Of course, my camera was not lowered after seeing the first bird, so what you get to see now is the sequence of photos of this second bird downing its late afternoon snack.
These are remarkable experiences when one gets to witness them up close and personal.
Only other photos that I even attempted were one of an Ash-throated Flycatcher and my first of the spring blooming Hedgehog Cactus. They really add color to the desert landscape when they are in bloom.
No such thing as a bad hike!