Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow Birds

Today seemed like a good day to take off of work considering the 25-30mph winds mixed with snow and rain. Yes, that is correct, we got a significant amount of snow in SE Arizona today, probably preparing me for the near future when I venture back to the frigid tundra known as Michigan.

So what do we do when we don't count birds for work? Well, we count birds for fun... We journeyed to the Huachucas to see what the storm blew in. Here is a picture of a Yellow-eyed Junco in a snow storm.

We started our trek at the Battiste Bed and Breakfast, just south of Miller Canyon. We had hoped to glimpse the Rufous and Calliope Hummingbird that had been seen lately. Upon arrival, we were quickly scorned for not calling ahead. We gave our sincerest apologies and were permitted to stay. While we were being lectured, we enjoyed this Rufous Hummingbird.
We even were allowed to take pictures and enjoy the birds from the owners personal photography blind. This is where my lens crushed the unsuspecting targets below.

Northern Mockingbird
"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler. Some consider this a separate species from "Myrtle" Yellow-rumped Warbler. Some consider it the same. Some don't really care.
This Chipping Sparrow posed nicely.
Acorn Woodpeckers are entertaining little buggers. What a cracking individual!
I know, it's just a House Finch, but I thought this picture turned out well.
The Calliope showed itself once, but the Rufous Hummingbirds are violent and refused to let the poor hummer enjoy a sugary treat. It was a nice way to spend the day.

Only 5 more days before I migrate back to Michigan.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 Thus Far

Because I don't already have enough to do, and because of exceeding peer pressure from friends, I have created a blog dedicated to birds and other stuff.

I've been working for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory in Southeast Arizona since early January. I get paid to go count grassland birds. Before the job started, I graced the Salton Sea with my presence. 3 targets were all destroyed including the infamous Bean Goose, Pacific Golden Plover and Glaucous-winged Gull. A great way to start 2011. Here are some terrible pictures for you to enjoy.

Bean Goose (left) and Greater White-fronted Goose (right). Notice how much more awesome the Bean Goose is than the White-fronted.
This Pacific Golden Plover was too easy
Here is a not-so-ruddy Ruddy Ground Dove from the Gilbert Water Ranch.

On days off I have traveled around the state chasing year birds since I have nothing else to do. My current list stands at 200 with some nifty birds including Williamson's Sapsucker, Least Grebe, Palm Warbler, Sedge Wren, among the others. Look at how badass Williamson's Sapsuckers are.

Williamson's Sapsuckers are better than all other sapsuckers. It's a fact. 

I have also purchased a new camera lens (Nikon 300mm f4 AF ED), which will improve my picture quality greatly. Aren't you excited?

Tune in next time for some more pictures and ramblings and whatever else I feel like putting on here.