Cattail Cove State Park, some things just from daily observations, some things from research, and some things from participants on the bird walk. This piece of new knowledge came from a participant a few weeks ago. We were watching a couple of Common Merganser females swimming along the surface of the water with their head partially under water like this photo I took today. I hadn't given it much thought, but the participant asked if the duck was possibly looking for fish. The light went on, of course! As you may notice her head is just under the surface to the point of allowing the eye to see under water.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Friday, February 9, 2018
Common Goldeneye (immature male)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
On Monday Feb 5th, I decided to take the people on my Bird Walk up to see the owl. I had people from California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. The California people were Mike and Jan Wacker from Chico who had attended my bird walks at Buckskin Mountain years ago, and have continued to stay in contact with us. I wasn't 100% sure the owl would be there, but it was, and everyone was delighted. I am now some what certain we have a nesting female. It even appears she has managed to move a rock to the front of the cave. You can notice the difference by looking at the former post. Perhaps her lower profile suggests she is sitting on eggs. I will continue to update as soon as we are back at Cattail Cove, right now we are taking couple of days off in Parker to bird with John West at Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, see the bird list here, and shop for groceries.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018
I've been through a tough stretch with a pretty low response to my bird walks here at Cattail Cove State Park. It's the kind of thing that makes me question if I put together an idea that just was not workable. Maybe there are not that many people interested in birding. Maybe this is just the wrong place to attract people interested in birds. At the same time I have just tried to soldier on, grin and bear it, and try to believe it will eventually catch on. All those fears vanished this weekend. I had six people show up on Friday, and today, Saturday, I had ten people show up.
This is the group from Friday, looking at the cliff where there is a Great Horned Owl nesting sight from past years. It's strange, but the rumor persists and people insist that an owl and chicks have been seen here this year. We are camped a few hundred feet away and pretty much keep around the clock watch, and we see no owls. We do hear them nightly, but during the past week their calls come from further up the canyon.
This is the group of ten today at our meet-up place at the amphitheater. From here we usually walk out through the park, noting Great-tailed Grackles and Gamble's Quail hanging around the campsites. Next we check out Verdin nests, Great Horned Owl nests, and Common Raven nests. Down at the cove we count American Coots, Lesser Scaups, Ring-necked Ducks, and Pied-billed Grebes. We end up back at the start hoping to see Black-tailed Gnatcatchers a maybe some Verdin. Click here to see todays list.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sonara Tacos y Mariscos
Monday afternoon we met up with friends and fellow Salemtowne residents, Kerry & Debby Kliever and their dog Max in Lake Havasu City. We set up our RVs in the Lake Havasu State Park overflow lot and then went for a nice walk through the park. Next was a short walk up to Sonora Tacos y Mariscos for their one dollar taco special. This was our second time here this year and may be a standard on our days off. On Tuesday we all did a number of errands and groceries, took the dogs for a walk at London Bridge Beach, and had lunch at Barley Brothers with a view of the bridge. In the afternoon we all moved to Cattail Cove State Park, where Kerry & Debbie are set up in their RV with us in the overflow lot. This morning, Wednesday, we took a great hike on Ted's Trail out to Whyte's Retreat, circling back on Ripley's Run Trail. It made a nice loop of around three and a half miles. Any of you hikers, this is the a route we would recommend.
Climbing through a dry falls
An important junction of Ripley's Run
Friday, January 19, 2018
Singing male Verdin
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Buckskin Mountain State Park
I have been leading Bird Walks at Cattail Cove State Park for two weeks now. I'm starting to get in a rhythm, knowing where the birds will be and what kind, and enjoying meeting new people each day. Yesterday was a day off, so we did what any bird crazed people would do, we went birding. We traveled on down the Colorado River about fifteen miles to Buckskin Mountain State Park for a morning of birding. Having spent several years volunteering at Buckskin, we always enjoy coming back and birding. We got a good list of birds and photos which you can see here.
Later in the afternoon we moseyed on down the river to this area we know for some stealth camping for the night. Of course Buster was anxious to go for a walk, so we also made up another bird list, which you can see here. As the sun went down later in the evening, this was the view out our windshield.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Early morning light on the Colorado
We used our time off this week to travel further south on the Colorado River to camp with friends Glenn Reuben and Rich & Dawn Bailey. All of us have volunteered in the Snowy Plover program on the Oregon Coast in past years. Glenn has now been camped for almost a week at Oxbow BLM Recreation Area, just across the river from Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, and has been having a fantastic time birding. The price is right, 15 dollars for a campsite, and half price ($7.50) for us Senior Pass holders. We spent the morning birding with Glenn and Dawn, and Glenn was able to show us all the good spots, like where the Great Horned Owls were roosting, where the Vermilion Flycatcher can been seen, where the Crissal Thrasher roams, and point out Sandhill Cranes flying overhead. You can see our check list with photos here.
Monday, January 8, 2018
The other great joy for Jeanette and me is the continuing connection with friends met though birding. Yesterday our good friend John West from Lake Havasu joined us. We met John while leading bird walks at Lake Havasu State Park in the winter of 2012. He showed up to see an unusual Yellow-bellied Sapsucker I had observed, and we have been good friends ever since, birding together in both Arizona and Oregon.
Birding is an interesting and engaging experience, but in the end, it's the people you get to share this experience with that make it extra-ordinary.
Friday, January 5, 2018
Thursday, January 4, 2018
male Great-tailed Grackle
female Great-tailed Grackle