Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More of the West Maricopa!

Hi everyone,

Yesterday on February 18th, 2014, Richard Crossley, Tom Johnson, Tom Reed, and I explored the Thrasher Spot, Baseline Road (for almost 5 miles east of the Thrasher Spot), and the Arlington Area.

At the Thrasher Spot, BENDIRE'S THRASHERS were very vocal and active in multiple locations.  Several LE CONTE'S THRASHERS were also observed, as well as a CRISSAL THRASHER.  In our searches for Sage Sparrows, we only came up with a few SAGEBRUSH SPARROWS.  As we covered the areas where I found Bell's Sparrows in good numbers recently, we couldn't find any Bell's Sparrows.  At this time in past years, I do remember the Sage Sparrows numbers decreasing dramatically, perhaps most of them have moved on?

Bendire's Thrasher.  The loudest of the thrashers.  You always know if a Bendire's is around!

Leconte's Thrasher.  This guy is sly and very shy.  But every now and then, it'll be cooperative.  Thanks to this particular Le Conte's Thrasher, Richard Crossley was able to get the best pictures of this species that he has ever been able to get.

Sagebrush Sparrow, one of the only few that we had.  Is this my last sighing in Arizona until fall of 2014?  Perhaps!

On February 8th, I photographed this Bell's Sparrow at the spot.  Since I'm Cali bound next week, I should be able to see the coastal Bell's Sparrow.  But for the Thrasher Spot, it seems like I may have to wait until October 2014 to see them again.

Richard Crossley at the Thrasher Spot....EPIC!

A mile east of the spot on Baseline Road, we observed a very cooperative BENDIRE'S THRASHER who is probably the most obliging Bendire's I've seen in the field.  Richard and I came here before showing Tom and Tom the bird, and Richard was able to get outstanding photos.  Besides singing away for us on pole wires, he actually displayed a trait I never thought I would see from a Thrasher..flycatching!  The bird jumped up and caught a fly, which the others got very good pictures of!

I'm Mr. Bendire's Thrasher to you!

Richard, Tom, and Tom..enjoying the Bendire's Thrasher.  Three Tom/Tommy's and one Richard..strange mix.  I've never been outnumbered in a group with people who share my same name.

Continuing east on Baseline Road, we stopped at a nice stand of tamarisk at the northwest corner of Baseline and Bruner Roads, where there is also an abandoned building.  I could see this being a good place to stop and check for migrants in season, and it was loaded with Yellow-rumped Warblers.  The main highlight here were 3 GREAT HORNED OWLS utilizing the stand.

Tamarisk stands by deserted places are kinda creepy.  Not for Owls though, like these Great Horneds!

Continuing east on Baseline Road and shortly east of Paloverde Road, we were in search of a dark morph FERRUGINOUS HAWK that I saw in this area a few weeks ago and earlier on this day of the 18th when I was driving to meet my birding party.  We found it perched up on a pole, and were eventually treated to flight views, which Tom Reed got some outstanding flight shots.  This is a very cool bird!  A light morph FERRUGINOUS HAWK was also in the same vicinity.  

The dark Ferruginous Hawk.  According to Crossley, "A dark, Ferrugie!"

Here are a few shots of this same bird from 2/8/14

It was a great four hours of birding in the morning for me!

No comments:

Post a Comment