Monday, June 25, 2012

(Not So) Shoot Me Monday

I've been on Kaua'i for a week now (I know, poor me) and I'm heading to Oahu.  The scenery and birds here are out-of-this-world!  I love the Red-Crested Cardinals.  They are all over the place here in Princeville, I've seen up to twelve at a time.  And the weather isn't too bad either (wink, wink).  When it was 108 degrees in Tucson, it was 83 here with a constant cool breeze. 

Now I have to get back to my schedule:

Ke'e Beach seen from the Kalalau Trail, Ha'ena State Park, Kaua'i

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Snow Goose in Kaua'i!

Aloha from Kaua'i!  Yesterday Gaby and I went birding on Ohiki Road on the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.  While I was photographing young Common Gallinules, Gaby said, "Hey what's that white goose over there with the other ones?"  I turned around, saw the Snow Goose, and immediately got some photos.  I knew it was rare since right now they're on their breeding grounds in the Arctic.  According to my field guide, The Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific (Pratt, Bruner, and Berrett), Snow Goose is casual to the Hawaiian Islands.  I found no June eBird records for all of Hawai'i.  Great job Gaby!  Stay tuned for many more birds from paradise...

Snow Goose with Hawaiian Geese
CERange Map for Snow Goose

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shoot Me Monday

Yesterday I took this distant shot of a Tropical Kingbird at Sweetwater Wetlands.  They have become regular here in late spring and summer.  Considered an uncommon local resident in Southeast Arizona, its range has expanded here in recent years.  In fall, a few usually show up along the coast of California.  As you can see from the map below, they are one of the most widespread birds of the American tropics.    

Tropical Kingbird Range Map

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shoot Me Monday

About a week ago my friend Geniece and I joined our pals Richard Fray and Ed for some owling on Mt. Lemmon.  We battled 30+ mph winds most of the night.  After three hours we had seen zero birds and heard only one, a distant Mexican Whip-poor-will.  I was a little bummed!  But at the bottom of the mountain the wind calmed down and our luck changed.  We heard a couple of Elf Owls calling, but never got a visual.  At least we hadn't struck out on owls.  A little further down the highway we struck gold when we spotted two owls off the road.  One flew down for shocking, eye-level, unobstructed views!  WOW!  It's one of the best birding experiences I've had.  What a cool bird to have as my 300th species in Pima County.

Richard Fray happens to be a wonderful bird guide, I highly recommend him.  Check out his website for birding in Southeast Arizona.

Western Screech-Owl
CERange Map for Western Screech-Owl