Friday, 21 August 2015

Arizona (3) - East of the Chiricahuas...part 2!

I have an hour before my first grandson (6 weeks old) arrives so I've time to finish this post...I Think!

Firstly though I wanted to show you a message I received from Richard Fray regarding my BIG day...

"Thanks again, Alan. What a day! Genuinely one of the best I've had as a full-time birding guide for the last six years"

How lucky was I!!!

I never take things for granted and I will always remember it as one of my best ever days in a wonderful location. Thanks yet again Richard.

The main reason for extending this particular post is to concentrate on another special Hummingbird.. From Portal we made our way up the main Cave Creek road (FR 42). There was evidence of flood damage and the gravel road along the south fork was closed. I decided to give this a miss, mainly due to to the time of day (1pm). I was interested in visiting the South Western Research Station though. It would give me a chance to bird in sheltered conditions and Louise a nice spot to read her novel.

On arrival I made the short walk down to the Hummingbird feeders. A great spot in the trees with some much needed shade and a breeze. On the way down I spotted a lovely Say's Pheobe...

There were no Hummers on my arrival but after around 10 minutes I noticed...and heard a few there or thereabouts. Then after around 30 minutes I had my first brief view of the bird I'd come to see...

Below is a sequence of shots or variable quality to hopefully illustrate the agility of the bird...the Blue-throated Hummingbird

After enjoying the bird whizzing around for a good while I luckily picked it up perched right behind our bench!

We then moved up slowly along the track towards Rustler and Barfoot parks. Another chance for high altitude species...and maybe my RED CROSSBILL? There had been reports on eBird.

Unfortunately is was getting late in the day and the clouds were gathering. I did give it an hour but I have to admit I had an ear on the thunder...the first flash of lightening and we were OFF!

We made our way down the west side and I had another BIG slice of luck when a female Montezuma's Quail ran across the road in front of us. I was (just) quick enough to get this pic...

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