Monday, March 13 2017
A small group of six birding friends started birding Russel Gulch at 7:55 a.m.
From the desert lowlands, to the landfill and on up the mountain, we had a nice variety of active birds.
|Female VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Male at top of page)|
|Male Gambel's Quail [Photo: Glenda Jones]|
|CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN with more fan-tailed or squared off tail than Common Raven below. |
[Photo: Glenda Jones]
|COMMON RAVEN [Photo: Glenda Jones]|
Kay G., Marsha W. and Hinde S. were riding in Kay's nice red jeep; Linda J. and I were riding in Glenda's SUV as we moseyed up the mountain listening for bird song.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB JAYs were vocal when flying from one place to another in the gulch and we spotted PHAINOPEPLA, CURVE-BILLED and CRISSAL THRASHER as we drove upward.
STOP!!! Back up! A very yellow and black bird perched maybe 25 feet west from the road caught my eye. Yes! -- A striking male SCOTT'S ORIOLE with its full black head, nape, shoulders and breast set off by its bright yellow belly, vent and under-tail coverts. Its yellow wing bars showed well as it flew off and out of sight. So struck by the sighting, none of us had taken a photo! It was definitely a FOS (First of Season) sighting for me and I hadn't noticed any reports in eBird for it yet this year.
A bit later and farther up into the Ponderosa Pines, we stopped at Sulfide del Rey Campground to snack while birding.
While our species count for the day was only 37, we reported mostly birds we saw....not the ones we thought we knew by voice.
What better way to start the week than in the coolness of the pines when Phoenix Valley reached into the 90°sF for the first time this year. A good adventure, perhaps especially so for those visiting the mountain for the first time. As usual, good birding with friends = another very good day in the field.
I posted our sightings in eBird; check the links below for more detail.
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35164228
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35164443