Monday, June 13, 2016

Birding Hard in SEAZ (Day 4)

Here it was, the last day of our triple attack on SEAZ! Walker woke Dalton and I up at 4:30 A.M. and drove us over to Santa Rita Lodge, so we could search for the Plain-capped Starthroat which has eluded Dalton and I for days (Walker got it a few days ago)! Before we even got off of Proctor road Walker spied a pair of Montezuma Quail sitting frozen in the middle of the road!

Montezuma Quail

Walker dropped Dalton and I off at the lodge and then drove back down to Proctor road where he caught up on some well-needed rest. Dalton and I were the first people to arrive at the lodge. We waited for over an hour without luck. One hour then turned into two, and then 3. Now I, as a birder, am use to doing a lot of hiking and other energy consuming activities to find birds. But sitting was actually harder than hiking a mile or two or biking around my patch! Dalton and I had been sitting down watching the same feeders for over three hours without our bird! Luckily there were many cool birds like this colorful and cooperative Blue Grosbeak.

Blue Grosbeak

Exhausted by hour hardcore feeder watching, I had about lost hope in us finding the Plain-capped Starthroat. However, while I was out of it I heard a chip note from a large hummingbird coming from one of the feeders and sure enough it was Dalton and I's lifer Plain-capped Starthroat!!!

Plain-capped Starthroat

Our observation was short but everyone at the feeders got great looks at this code 4 rarity! Once the hummer flew off Dalton and I were jumping up and down in excitement! We hiked down to Proctor Road to proclaim our victory over Walker. After he congratulated us on our success I heard a Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet calling from fairly close. In a couple minutes I got my photo-lifer NBTY!

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

After packing up camp, the three of us drove up to the top of Madera Canyon to crush some trogons. Upon arriving at a nest we had great views of a male.

Elegant Trogon

After crushing hard on Mr. Trogon we ended our SEAZ bird hard trip. Before getting back to my house in Buckeye I showed Walker some Burrowing Owls which we also crushed.

Burrowing Owl

This Burrowing Owl ended our AZ bird hardness...or did it? Only an extremely rare bird would change this. Stay tuned to find out what might have changed our plans...

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