Friday, January 6, 2012

Arizona Strikes Again!

Today was one of those days where you ask yourself if life really can get any better. The morning was somewhat uneventful as we checked out a spot we went to yesterday. This afternoon, we scoped out a very nice looking grassland and we hit the jackpot!

The habitat looked very "ammodramus-ey", and it wasn't long before our first Grasshopper Sparrow popped out. We spooked another ammodramus that everyone got looks at except me, and they called out Barid's! It took me 5-6 more times of tracking down the skulker before I got disappointing looks at my ABA Baird's Sparrow. But the looks only got better from here.

Ammodramus sparrows continued to flush, and tracking them down revealed they were all Baird's Sparrows! After enjoying prolonged, so-close-I-could-have-spit-on-it views in excellent light, I decided to try to photograph one.

And a mid-hop shot of one skulking away.

After having to walk away from several Baird's, another special species popped out. This obliging Sprague's Pipit gave everyone very satisfying looks, and was even a lifer for a couple. The light wasn't the greatest, but you get the idea.

On our way out of the grasslands, a Sage Thrasher couldn't have been more cooperative. I've had run ins with this species before, but they have all been very skittish and did not allow close approach. This one actually flew towards us. Curious little bugger he was.

These photos are all just quick edits, I'll post some better quality ones to my website when I get a chance, which could be a while.

The year is off to a rockin' start, and there are still plenty of birds to see in this part of the world. If this is any indication as to how the rest of the year will go, I say bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. What a great day of birding! The Baird's and Sprague's and very rare away from the Sonoita area and San Rafael Valley. Fantastic finds and great photos! I've added you to my blog roll.