Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flycatcher in the Park

Well, it's the last day in Arizona. We have to pack everything up and go to the airport about 11:30. What shall we do this morning? Go birding, of course. Several people mentioned Reid Park, which is not far from the airport at all. Primarily, we are going there to get pictures of the Vermilion Flycatcher that Kathie says lives there, and as you can see, we found him! In the sun, he's so red he almost looks orange! After flitting about for a while, he settled down and posed nicely for us.

Here is a family portrait of the male and female together....

...and here is the portrait of just the female. She's just as beautiful as the male.

Around 9:30 in the morning, Reid Park is a very noisy place. First, the Long Tailed Grackles call and chatter and whistle incessantly. These guys are getting a drink from a sidewalk puddle. Then some loud burglar alarm started going off. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Yikes - what is going on? Why doesn't someone turn that thing off? Wait, I recognize that noise. It's Gibbons at the zoo!

Then these giant Jet Birds started flying overhead. It must be their mating season, because they called back and forth the whole time, and we always saw pairs of them.

The lakes had a nice assortment of ducks, including some we had not seen at Sweetwater. I like duck hunting at a city park, where there are no cattails or mud between me and a great photo of the ducks.

One little Ross' Goose was hanging out with the ducks and some domestic geese.

Ring-necked ducks

Redhead Ducks

Canvas Backs

American Coot

And the Gila Woodpecker was just as active on a tree as in Saguaro cactus. Total count for the week: 106 Species, 54 Life Birds!!! Wow, I ought to travel far more often!

Post Vacation Thoughts...
We always pack too much, and each year resolve to be more realistic on our clothing and luggage. They warned us that it gets to 15 degrees though, so we brought way too many clothes for cold weather. Ah well, it never hurts to be prepared.

This laptop is great for vacations. Work on pictures, post them to the blog each day, and check for emails so we don't get behind. Most hotels have wireless.

Wouldn't it be nice to spend a month or so at one of these great spots? Florida, Arizona--there's never enough time to see everything we would really like to see. But what about Bob? Not really, but we do have two cats at home. Our son came to stay with them, and brought his cat to visit. People take their dogs on long vacations, but I don't think the cats would get much from a long car drive, or even worse, riding on an airplane. They are homebodies, not tourists.

We were the only people under age 70 when we met Kathie at the McDonald's in Green Valley. One of the birding trips had a guy with a walker getting on the bus. Part of me says "If you can't do the walk, why are you here?" while another part says "Good for you, get out there and keep going." Would it be nice to move someplace warm, like Arizona, when all our connections are back east? What do those people do if they get sick? Getting old -- shudder. Well, as Scarlett O'Hara says, I'll think about that tomorrow.


Kathiesbirds said...

I am so glad you got to see the vermillion flycatcher and his mate! These photos are awesome! Good for you and so many lifers! I feel priveledged to have helped you find some of them! It was fun to go birding with you.

KatDoc said...

What a wonderful trip! I have been traveling with you vicariously, and enjoyed the whole thing, plus I didn't have to pack!

106 species/54 Life Birds? WOW! I can see I need to get my butt to Arizona, if only for that Vermilion Flycatcher - what a gorgeous bird! Why are all the eastern flycatchers so boring?


PS: Did your daughter get the e-mail about laser surgery for a dog spay?