Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stranded in Catalina State park

Howdee all,

It rained last night and on and off today.

The road out of the campground is full of water and sand.

catalina wash filled_006  So we cant leave…catalina wash filled_005 Campers that left early in the day cant get back in catalina wash filled_004

Thats alright, we knew this might happen and stocked our pantry..

Besides, look at the view ..catalina wash filled_003And tonight's sunset..sunset_001Was just gorgeous.. sunset_002 The mountains were pink..sunset_003 The clouds were pink..sunset_004 Lots of campers were out taking photos..sunset_005   So, we don't mind being strandedsunset_008 sunset_009    Its quite comfy here.. sunset_014

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Catalina State park bird walk, Tucson, AZ

Howdee all,

Every Friday when camped at Catalina State Park we go on the morning bird walk led by a volunteer.

We started off our last bird walk with a pair of Coopers Hawks..

male with his back to us..bird walk catalina state park_002 Female on the opposite side of the path..

bird walk catalina state park_003Some of the birders are locals, snowbirds or campers..

bird walk catalina state park_006 Red-naped sapsucker

bird walk catalina state park_009 bird walk catalina state park_008Distant Western bluebird viewsbird walk catalina state park_015

bird walk catalina state park_020 Beautiful mountain views ..

bird walk catalina state park_022 I will miss our bird walks here..

bird walk catalina state park_026

A common bird in Catalina..


bird walk catalina state park_034We were so lucky to see this Western Screech owl warming up in the morning sunbird walk catalina state park_042

  Distant views of Loggerhead shrikebird walk catalina state park_048 My favorite bird of the day recently arrived from the south..

He is my spark bird..

Six years ago today, when in Catalina state park..

bird walk catalina state park_051

I saw this red beauty..

He sparked my interest in birding…


Mr. Vermillion Flycatcher

bird walk catalina state park_072

Friday, February 26, 2010

Florida Wash,AZ Rufous-capped warbler

Howdee all,

This past Wednesday, Jeff, Kathie from Sycamore Canyon blog, and I went in search of the Rufous-capped warbler.

A rare visitor to Arizona..from about the bird here

Jeff had GPS coordinates and a some brief directions..

The GPS coordinates took us to us to a work station off the Florida Wash.

Florida Wash _008

Jeff's directions said we were to look for a dam..and a tree above the dam. I headed downstream to where we crossed a small bridge over the wash.

Was this where they meant?

It wasn't a dam.Florida Wash _010

We decided this wasn't the area and went back to the parking area and started following a trail that crossed the water filled wash.

Florida Wash _014  Luckily, while on the trail, we met a photographer on his way back to the parking area.

He was out trying to get photos of the bird..he wasn't able to find it, he said he had been three times previously with no luck,

Florida Wash _018

He did give us detailed directions to follow to the dam. Also the time of day the warbler was previously spotted 11am and 3pm.Florida Wash _024It was around 9:30, so we thought we may have a chance… Florida Wash _028 So we thanked him and went on our way..gaining a bit in elevation..Florida Wash _034 Then to the dam…and the burnt sycamore above the dam.

Florida Wash _036 We looked around the wash for the bird…

We were told it would be down low in the reeds…Florida Wash _037…it was very quiet..…no birds..

Jeff went further up the wash…

Kathie and I stayed behind to hang out and wait …

Florida Wash _038 No birds ..

but always something of interest..

Cactus growing on rock… Florida Wash _040 Spiders…

Florida Wash _043

  Kathie and I then heard a bird calling..close to the Sycamore tree..

We located a Canyon wren..and since we saw no other birds..focused our attention on it..

It was around 11am…

I happened to turn to my right…Florida Wash _039And out pops this little critter…

I was so excited…

I called Kathie as softly as my excitement would allow me..tee hee..

She started clicking away with her Camera..

check out her photos here….

also check out this photo I found on flickr Florida Wash _052 (Large) (2) I took these photos after I calmed down..

and realized the bird was sticking around for a bit..  

There was another couple upstream looking for the bird as well and I motioned to them…

Still no Jeff….Florida Wash _053We had awesome looks!

…the warbler was working its way upstream..  Florida Wash _057 (Large)Luckily, Jeff was on his way back to the area..and he was able to see the warbler

We followed the bird further upstream until it was difficult to follow any further..     Florida Wash _060We were all thrilled… We saw our target bird..and it was beautiful!

A life bird for all three of us!

Florida Wash _116Happy and Hungry we headed back to the car..Florida Wash _117

Another great day of birding!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cienega Creek, Tucson, Az

Howdee all,


Last week we met up with Kathie of Sycamore Canyon blog do some more birding..

This time Kathie took us to Cienega Creek Preserve.

Read Kathies Post of our Day…its so delightful..and she makes you feel like you are there with her..I know..because I was.

She makes an awesome German Pancake with apples..I am dreaming about it now.

After Kathies wonderful breakfast she takes us to the Preserve..

cienaga birding with Kathie_004   First to an overlook..for a glimpse into the creek area…See the tall trees..

That is where we will hike to..cienaga birding with Kathie_002  To the trail headcienaga birding with Kathie_007 We hike toward the tree tops..

cienaga birding with Kathie_010  The trees are in a wash…cienaga birding with Kathie_012  Almost there…the tops of the trees and views of the wash..

cienaga birding with Kathie_015  Going into the wash..cienaga birding with Kathie_016It was very quiet as far as birds…

cienaga birding with Kathie_017 We find water…and I find a Rock Face…

Do you see the face?

cienaga birding with Kathie_018 Two big eyes and a nose..melting into the landscape..

The creek runs right in front of the face..

cienaga birding with Kathie_020

As we follow the creek we see lushness

cienaga birding with Kathie_023 Bright greens line the creek…

cienaga birding with Kathie_024 This weed looks like watercress to me..but i wasn't sure..

cienaga birding with Kathie_025We hike as far as possible in this lush oasis..

We spy a few Lesser Goldfinch..but..where are the other birds?cienaga birding with Kathie_027

We decide to follow the creek in the opposite direction..hoping to find the source of the springs.

cienaga birding with Kathie_029  We see just a few birds here…Why no birds?

cienaga birding with Kathie_030 We find the area where the water starts flowing from underground..making this sweet little creek.cienaga birding with Kathie_035 Just beyond a Black Pheobe…chirpscienaga birding with Kathie_036


Onward we walk thru the wash…trees clinging to the water cut bank.

cienaga birding with Kathie_038 Finally we hear birds…lots of birds..hundreds of birds..Up high in these tall trees…

These trees are blooming…and the birds are finding food up high in them..

Flocks of Robins, Lesser Goldfinch, Yellowrump warblers, Gilded flickers, Gila Woodpeckers and more…most were hard to see as they flitted around the top of the tall tree.

Wcienaga birding with Kathie_040We spent some time looking at the birds..then hiked out and left Cienega springs…


Oasis in the Desertcienaga birding with Kathie_042After a nice lunch nearby..

Kathie took us to see this Great horned Owl nest…

See the hole in the bank off the side of the road?

We stayed in the car…cienaga birding with Kathie_044 So as not to disturb this beautiful bird…cienaga birding with Kathie_045 We had a wonderful time…

Thanks Kathie and Gus for your warm hospitality!

Lets go birding again.