Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birding in Arizona - Day 2, stop one

We left the hotel early, having been assured that even if the reserve was closed we'd be able to access it.  As it happens we were ahead of the official opening time by nearly an hour and a half and there was no access.  The road itself though provided great birding and indeed a great view:














We really enjoyed the chance of seeing the Broad-billed Hummingbird close-up:
















One perched in the strong morning sunlight about three metres from us:
















Another road bird, this one a lifer, was this Dusky-capped Flycatcher:














Another lifer, Bell's Vireo, part of a small flock, moving around and feeding together in the early morning:











One stopped briefly for a photograph, for which we were grateful:














The manager of the reserve lives in the accommodation opposite.  He had just got up, saw our car parked outside so came out, opened the reserve to us then headed back in for his morning coffee.

Gila Woodpeckers were on the Hummingbird feeders again:














Helen hadn't seen this type of flower before:



















On the trail the apparently ever-present (at least in Arizona) Lark Sparrow:













And good numbers of the Phainopepla, this one a male:



























A Red-tailed Hawk passing overhead silenced the birdsong briefly:

















In one clearing we enjoyed watching various flycatchers feeding, including this Vermilion Flycatcher, finally an in-focus photograph without flaring of plumage in the light!:













We really enjoyed the Nature Conservancy Sanctuary (though it's hard to find, you will need directions to locate it) and late morning, having exhausted the trails, headed on.

As we drove out along the rough road, we spotted Gambell's Quail, running away from the approaching vehicle:






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