Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A short post from up north

From July 31st-August 2nd my family and I took our second trip this year up to the Happy Jack Lodge Camp Ground. I must apologize, this will be a short post because I only had one full day.  As I was looking for reptiles just as much as birds, although I still had my camera with me. When we first arrived I set out to try to get at least one decent shot of the common but hard to approach Steller's Jay. This is one of the many birds that sparked my birding career. It took me quite a while to finally photograph one of these jays, but after trying hard I came back with a couple of decent shots.
                                                                 Steller's Jay
I know they aren't the best photos but considering the behavior of the Steller's Jay these are my best so far.  I also encountered one of the weirdest things, as I was trying to photograph a flock of Pygmy Nuthatches I pointed my camera to take a photo of one of the birds at fairly close range and the bird must have seen its reflection in my lense because the young nuthatch flew very close to me and after a second of hovering it flew to a tree, and I got some pretty good photos of that bird.
                                                               Pygmy Nuthatch

This bird looks like it is a juvenile because if you look at the beak it has a bit of yellow which shows that it was just a fledgeling not too long ago. After my first day, I spent the other two days looking for reptiles like gartersnakes, many-lined skinks, and alligator lizards. I found the gartersnakes and alligator lizards but no skinks surprisingly. Here is a photo of one of about eight of the gartersnakes I found.
While I was looking for the reptiles I decided to take one more birding hike through the forest before heading back down to the Valley. I did not see much except for what I first thought was just another tree-top living Grace's Warbler, until I put my binocs on the bird and found it was a Hermit Warbler. It was a pretty nice find for the day, and after watching the bird for a while it even came down from the canopy of pines and allowed me a couple of photos.
                                                                    Hermit Warbler

The last time I thought I photographed a Hermit Warbler was down in Southeast, AZ when I found a Hermit Warbler looking bird, but after I looked at the photos it ended up being a Hermit X Townsend's Warbler.
This is still only the beginning of my summer camping trips and this is also only the beginning of the awesome birds I will find! I hope you enjoyed my post and thanks for reading!                          


  1. Great photos, Caleb! This little post had a big punch with those nice birds. The Steller's Jay is one I missed out on in Colorado - such a cool-looking bird.

  2. Thanks Mr. Josh!! If you know the calls of the STJA you will surely find one they are loud!

  3. Nice work man, great shots. You just keep Happy Jacking it all summer!

  4. Thanks Mr. Laurence!!! Happy Jack does seem to have a good vibe. Just wait until migration pulls in I will have many more photos! of many more birds!