Saturday, March 17, 2012

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird!

Back in Florida Canyon AZ, early Saturday, St Patrick's Day, John spent an hour staring at some reeds, a bird zipped past and disappeared in them twice. A couple of groups came and went. John kept saying, an hour more, an hour more.  Finally, a man came who had gone to the left where you have to hop the creek to the right to get to the dam, so consequentially arrived pretty late in the morning. John and he were commiserating about the difficult Rufous-Capped Warbler, when the man glanced UP and said 'There it is'. A pair were cavorting around in the tops of the trees, while John and others had been staring down into the reeds. John spent a lot of hours and days on that bird. On the phone, he must have spent 10 minutes describing his frustrating morning to me before he finally got to his success. He's a tease.

He left home Thursday afternoon in a blizzard of taxes and reservations and stayed the night in Blythe. Early Friday, he was by the Colorado River. Again teasing me, he said on the phone, he got poor pictures of the Ash-Throated Flycatcher. Then, he added, he also got great pictures of the Nutting's. I had been bugging him not to rely on the one we saw on the Rio Grande, since it has yet to be verified. So our scouting trip to the Colorado in January, when we failed to see the NUFL, finally paid off. He also revisited thrasher corner, near Buckeye, where we saw zero thrashers in January. As per advertisement, there were three identifiable species plus at least two more he isn't sure of. Then Friday night he heard the pygmy owl and whiskered screech owl in Florida Canyon.

He had called me this afternoon, Saint Patrick's Day, on his way into Patagonia SP to try for the Black-Capped Gnatcatcher once again. He does have a little Orange Irish in him. Does that count? Maybe he had the luck of the Irish today.

There is a lot of heavy slogging over the next three months. He'll need that luck.

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