On October 25th, 2014, Gordon Karre, Laurence Butler, Mark Ochs and I birded in the Flagstaff area. The four of us haven't explored and birded this area as much as we like to, so we figured that today would be a fun day to do so.
|These guys are freaking awesome.|
We were intrigued by Steve and Joan Hosmer's recent outings at Rio De Flag, so we made that our first stop of the morning and we accessed Rio De Flag by the Museum of Northern Arizona. Our main targets were Cassin's Finches and Evening Grosbeaks. We quickly found several CASSIN'S FINCHES working high in pine trees shortly after we started birding. Our number ended up being around 7 individuals. Like Steve, I also missed Cassin's Finch last year when I was working on an Arizona year list, and it felt good to see this species for the first time since 2012. The EVENING GROSBEAKS moved into the area after we took a loop around the place, but they came in good numbers. A clumpy flock of 15 birds crammed together near the top of a pine tree and while we watched those, three more sat and called in a dead tree above us. In midst of the Evening Grosbeaks were several very nice males. Two neat raptors moved through the area which were a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and a MERLIN. A LEWIS'S WOODPECKER was also nearby, as were 6-7 BROWN CREEPERS and 2 CEDAR WAXWINGS.
|How many Evening Grosbeaks can you find in this tree? I found 16.|
|The majestic Bald Eagle scanning Ashurst|
Our final stop in the Flagstaff area came from the Mormon Lake area, mostly in the area of Mormon Lake Village.
The dry Mormon and an ecstatic Butler
Thanks Gordon, Laurence, and Mark for a fun birding day!