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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Owls, winds and chill

We had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets this week, here is my favorite sunset.
If you follow me on Facebook you know we saw our grail bird, the Elegant Trogon, Monday, my photos weren't very good as it was in the shadows of the trees.
Friday turned out to be a good birding day for us as we had this N. Pygmy Owl and a Whiskered Screech Owl pointed out to us in Ramsey Preserve. The Pygmy was right out in the open on a dead looking tree just right next to the path but he is so small most people would miss him. He is only around 7 inches tall. The Screech Owl, she is in her hole in a sycamore tree just off the path, the owl makes that a regular spot to nest so regular birders know where and what to look for and they are nice enough to point it out to the visiting birders.
This photo is taken off of one of Ramsey's paths and you can see the various trees here as it is at a higher elevation and has a little stream which makes it good for birding.
The lower elevation where we are staying has only scrub mesquite trees and grasses but we see a good number of birds at our RV park. This morning I heard a Great Horned Owl. We have a couple of regular visitors a pair of cactus wrens, curved-bill thrasher. At the clubhouse where there's the only allowed feeder there's quail, black-throated sparrows. We have also seen a pair of western kingbirds, a Say's phoebe, a green-tailed towhee and today I spotted a lark sparrow.
We took a drive to Coronado National Monument where the Monument fire started last year in June. The fire went over the mountain and down the canyons toward Sierra Vista. Then July the monsoons came and then there was flooding. The birding may be down because of those factors but no ones knows, several groups here are keeping records and watching for any nesting activity.
We toured the big room of Kartchner Caverns Thursday, it is a beautiful cave. They allow no cameras so we had to buy our souvenir photos. It is expensive at $25 per person in that is for only half of the cave but it was worth it. It's discovery in 1974 and the discoverers keeping it a secret for 14 years so it would be saved in it's pristine state makes a good story. They carefully planned the best way to save it and share it with the public and that was to make it a state park.
It's a windy, chilly weekend but Monday looks nice again so we can get back to birding.

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