Thursday, August 30th, in the middle of Montosa Canyon, I got a call from my sister, that her husband would be stopping medical intervention and that they would be taking him home to his farm in northern Minnesota. Yesterday, one of my granddaughters had her first birthday.
John is trying to see as many birds as he can before they book passage south.
We didn't see anything new at Montosa, no black-capped came to our pygmy owl call. BUT we tooled over to Ash Canyon B&B and in came the Plain-Capped Starthroat 636, plus, we got to chat with the hostess and other visitors.
John asked if the Spotted Owl was still being seen in Miller's Canyon. Affirmative, so that was our next stop. The people at Beatty's B&B were very helpful. Charles goes up every day to check on the owl location. It was a bit of a hike, lots of it was washed out and unrecognizable. We managed to find the pink tape, stood next to it, looked into the maple, and a sleepy young Spotted Owl 637 blinked back at us.
On the hike up Miller Canyon, we were surrounded by Canyon Wrens, Red-Faced Warblers, Painted Redstarts, a Black-Throated Gray Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Brown Creeper and Bridled Titmouse. All were visible from a spot where a Gray Fox had been standing moments before.
John has 637 big year birds to date, he has photographs of 560 of them, 58 new life birds, 697 life birds. Not bad for a guy who is blind in one eye and deaf as a post. Well, maybe not that deaf, unless I am trying to tell him something. He certainly doesn't hear all the chips and tweets out in the field that help you locate a bird, and sometimes, ID it.
Tonight we are in Portal Peak Lodge. We first visited Portal in 1970 looking for the trogan.