Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 Days Home - Then Off to Arizona

Honestly, I barely had time to do my laundry and re-pack my suitcase last week. Connie, Lori, Tara and I are now in southeast Arizona on vacation. Of course, we are birding like crazy. We spent a few days in Tubac to be near to Madera Canyon. On our first evening, we went into the canyon to find owls and succeeded. Madera is home to 4 (or more) species of owl including this little gal - Elf Owl.

Elf Owl!
She nests in a telephone pole on private property but luckily, the guy who lives there is gracious enough to invite birders into his yard each evening around 6:30 to watch for the owl to appear. She made her appearance at 7 PM and hung out in the hole for 15 minutes before taking off for the night. Wow.

We also saw a very rare bird family the next day. Black-capped Gnatcatchers only nest in this area of the US and we were fortunate to see this male.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher
The bug isn't for him. It's for his baby which we also got to see up close. Cute little guy huh? 

Lori made our accommodations for the trip and she did a great job. We rented a house in Tubac that had a great little yard and was close to the Anza Trail. We spent time watching some really great birds including this jet black Phainopepla. 

And this stunningly red Vermilion Flycatcher that perched in a tree then on the wall of our yard. 

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher
We saw this Say's Phoebe flitting around and then sitting on a nest. They have a beautiful salmon color belly. 

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe Nest
And this Gila Woodpecker was busy feeding nestlings. 

Gila Woodpecker Nest
It wasn't all joy. We missed the Elegant Trogon for the 4th or 5th time. We heard it calling but despite 2 days in the canyon, never got to see the bird. We also witnessed a really bad fire that started in Box Canyon by a stupid guy shooting guns at exploding targets in the very dry desert. What was he thinking? The fire has spread across 20,000 acres and still moving across Arizona. Sheesh. 

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