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Monday, May 19, 2008

Black-capped Gnatcatchers

On the last day of my Arizona trip, May 13, I took the opportunity to chase the rare Black-capped Gnatcatcher for the third time during my trip. The first two (unsuccessful) chases involved birds at Montosa Canyon and Proctor Rd at Madera Canyon, and the final chase was to take place in the early morning hours to pursue a wandering family group which was reported 2 days earlier moving around its territory at the latter location. Amazingly to me, after 1 hour searching the mesquite habitat, I suddenly came across the call notes of a gnatcatcher- indeed, a family of them, and of course they were the Black-cappeds. Digi-binning this hyperactive species proved difficult, but the rapid fire mode of my Sony Cybershot W-80 proved helpful. Out of several hundred photos taken were the following decent shots:This was a wonderful way to end my trip- my 17th lifer for the week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Final AZ photos

Painted Redstart
Lazuli Buntin

Flame-colored Tanager
Elegant Trogon
Elf owl (by chance happened to shoot right while flash from a professional photographer's camera went off!)
Lesser Earless Lizard
Jumping Cholla (don't touch!)
Botteri's Sparrow
Black-headed Grosbeak
Acorn Woodpecker
Broad-billed Hummingbird (female brooding young)
A mandatory Western treat- the best!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More AZ photos

AZ trip is still going great- 12 life birds so far, great scenery, great wilderness. In the interest of time I'll be sparse on captions, but here are some highlight digiscoped/digibinned photos from the past 3 days.
Gould's Wild Turkey (note strange white tail band and uppertail/rump!

Thick-billed Kingbird

Scott's Oriole

Ruby Rd (on way to California Gulch)

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet

Montezuma Quail

Lucifer Hummingbird female

Hooded Oriole

Hermit Warbler (rare migrant at lowland habitats, such as this one north of Nogales)

Greater Roadrunner

Gambel's Quail- omnipresent and abundant

Five-striped Sparrow (best I could manage!)

Cassin's Kingbird
Brown-crested Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Arizona Woodpecker

Friday, May 9, 2008

Quickie from AZ

I find myself at a hotel in Nogales, AZ, currently, on a weeklong adventure for birds in Arizona. Due to a series of fortunate events, I was able to see and photograph an extremely rare bird for the U.S. this morning, a Tufted Flycatcher, near Portal, AZ. Despite missing it for several hours at daybreak I (and many others) were able to get on the bird around 10AM for stunning views. Here's one of my 300+ shots to whet the appetite. Now off to bed to prepare for more birds tomorrow AM.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Neotropic Cormorant, Grand Haven (1st state record)

Michigan's first Neotropic Cormorant (8 photos below) was first reported yesterday morning by Chip Francke but not seen the remainder of the day. I arrived at the tip of the s. jetty at Grand Haven this morning (6 May) at 7 AM and Adam Byrne was already on the bird. What a fantastic find!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Crane Creek, OH weekend highlights, May 3-4

This weekend I had the fortune to bird Crane Creek, OH both Saturday and Sunday. The boardwalk delivered, as usual, with 23 species of warblers (and 27+ reported for the weekend total) and many seemingly early migrants. Photo ops were often spectacular, which I took advantage of with my Sony Cybershot W-80 shot through my Leica 8X32 Trinovid binoculars. Here are my favorite shots from the weekend, left unidentified for your viewing pleasure (can you pick out the Blue Grosbeak shot (hint: worst photo here by far, but best I got of this rarity):