Friday, June 24, 2005

Hooded Oriole...

spotted the other day at our bird feeder.

I had just by chance looked out the window and there it was a female Hooded Oriole. WOW!!!!!!!
This is the first oriole we have gotten at the feeder.


Hualapai birding trip

This past Tuesday we were fortunate to go birding with two of the most knowledgable woman in Las Vegas to the Hualapai Mountains in Arizona.

We weren't even out of the city when we were given our first surprise by our guides when we were shown burrowing owls along the highway going to Boulder City. Josh and I couldn't believe it. One was sitting on a light post while the other was sitting right on the side of the road.

On the highway to Kingman we saw numerous redtailed hawks and ravens along with more than a few nests on the poles. A stop along the way right before we went into Haulapaii mountains gave us views of cassin's kingbird, mama quails and many babies, canyon towhee, crissel thrasher, lucy's warbler, and also blackthroated sparrows.

On arrival in the picnic area of Haulapai we saw a few acorn woodpeckers. We also saw an amazing sight. One of the trees there is the woodpecker's granary tree and is filled from top to bottom with holes with acorns in them. At the vistor's center we saw a group of turkey vultures soaring in the sky overhead. Looking more closely at the group we realized that one turned out to be a zone tailed hawk. It's important to remember to always give closer inspection when seeing what you think are turkey vultures because the zone tailed hawks fly along with them sometimes. The reasoning behind this being that rodents and other small mammals will look up and see the turkey vultures and not worry because they are carrian eaters and scavenge their food. They won't be as on guard. This gives the zone tails the chance to swoop down and catch them. While in the mountains we also saw Grace's warbler, a flock of bush tits, white breasted nuthatches, western bluebirds, western wood peewee, black headed grosbeak, house wren, say's phoebe, lesser goldfinch, chipping sparrows, spotted towhees, and western scrub jay.

A stop in Laughlin on the way home produced a single cliff swallow.

Josh and I were so grateful for the opportunity to bird with these two amazing women. They are always so giving of their time and knowledge. What an amazing day we had.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Summer's birding notebook

Recently Josh and I came across Summer's great blog about her own birding experiences. She also has a message board there and we have met the nicest bunch of people on it. Much great birding experiences shared amongst all. Be sure to check her site out and say hi. I have put a link on the side bar so you can find her.

Monday, June 13, 2005

birding trips galore

Since we got the blog up we have been so busy out and about birding that we haven't had time to even sit at the computer to log on and share our adventures. lol We have been to Corn Creek at Desert National Wildlife Range (twice), Red Rock Canyon conservation (twice), Henderson Bird Perserve (once) and to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (twice).

We have seen an amazing amount of different species in each of these places. One of the trips to Corn Creek we took with a ranger from Red Rock and had a fabulous day seeing new birds such as Great Blue Heron and Greater Roadrunner. We got yet another chance to see the long-eared owls which are always amazing. We took to calling this trip the Phainopepla trip since that seemed to be the bird of the day. Everytime we looked there they were.

During our Red Rock trips I was lucky enough to finally see a loggerheaded shrike. Josh and his dad had already seen one at an earlier Corn Creek visit. We saw a momma chukar with her babies both times we went out to Red Rock. What a sight it is to see these little ones. We saw a Scott's Oriole during one of these trips and what an amazing bird! On our second trip we saw numerous scrub jays with their beautiful blue! We also spotted a few spotted towhees.

Josh and Steve took the first trip out to Pahranagat by themselves. They saw 33 species that day including: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Canada Goose, 2 Ladder-backed woodpeckers, 2 lesser goldfinches, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. They also saw MANY red-winged blackbirds and yellow-headed blackbirds at the middle marsh.

We took the second trip out to Pahranagat yesterday and I was amazed at this beautiful place. Such a lake in the middle of the desert! I was amazed at the Great Blue Heron and the Great Egret. We actually got to see the Great Blue Heron snatch a fish out of the water as he was wading in the marshy area. We saw a Bullock's Oriole and I can't begin to describe the beauty of its coloring. The same could be said of the yellow-headed blackbird. WOW! We saw more turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. What wonders in flight they are. We saw a western grebe, very cool! And Josh had the id of the day which he had to do much convincing of his dad and I. We saw a canvas back momma with her brood. Josh said right away that this was the species and Steve and I made him keep checking details etc until he was able to convince us. lol We all added new birds to our list when we saw a California Gull and a Forster's Tern. We went to the middle marsh again and Steve and Josh were amazed at how much the marsh had dried out in just a week. Doesn't take long in this desert heat. Kildeer had moved in this time and we saw a momma with a little one. Here's a species list for the day:

common raven
turkey vultures (14)
great blue heron (4)
great egret
yellow warbler
marsh wren (2)
western grebe (2)
canada goose ( flock)
bullock's oriole (2)
western kingbird (too many to count)
forster's tern
american coot (abundant)
american avocet
yellow-headed blackbird (5)
red-winged blackbird (6)
ruddy duck female
yellow warbler (6)
mallard (4)
california gull
common yellowthroat (5)
red-tailed hawk (7)
mourning dove (way too many to count)
american kestrel
great-tailed grackle (3)
black phoebe (3)
canvas back (female with 6 ducklings)
violet-green swallow
white-throated swift

Thursday, June 02, 2005

the beginning

We hope you'll join us as we tell birding tales of our many adventures here in the southwest.