Let me apologize in advance: This will be a long read.
April is a month filled with family birthdays. We started April 16th, with Grandson Daniel III turning 4 yrs old. Where did the time go? They had a pool party with over 20 kids. It was a huge splash!
Yea! The birthday plans we made back in September were in full swing! Being a bird addict, I'm sure you can guess what I wanted to do? Yep. Birding. Getting hubby on board wasn't hard. The place we reserved to camp was called, "Dead Horse Ranch." He likes cowboys. It's a win,win. The event, Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival. We shorten it to "Birdy Verde."
Thursday: "Orville", our pop up, (get it?) was locked and loaded by 8:30 am. The trip north is a mere 3 hour drive. We took everything but the kitchen sink and that's only because we already had a sink in the pop up. Two laptops, two cameras, two bikes, one TV...you get the idea. David even got himself a Vortex 10x36 mm Monocular, to use with his good eye! http://tinyurl.com/cyta39v
Once there, I ran down the dirt trail to sign in at the registration tent. Whoops, no waivers in hand, ran back up to camp for Dave's signature on the form. But wait. A mama Black-chinned wanted to show me her nest. We were there 1/2 hour and I spot this little gem. Now I'm really getting pumped!
Thursday: 4:00PM~Welcome Wine Social, Jay's Bird Barn,Tent, Free
7:00PM-9:00 PM~Owl Prowl, Bob Miller
Friday: 7:00 AM-3:00 PM~Watching Warblers, Box Lunch, Homer Hansen
Sat: 8:00AM-1:00PM~Cadillac Canoe Brunch, Chip Norton, Host: Ron Mattia's Ranchette
These birds didn't appear to be drunk!
Trip Description: We will be prowling our way around the park in an attempt to spot the great horned owl, the barn owl, and perhaps the western screech owl. They have all been seen here in the past. Bring along a flashlight as well as your binoculars.
Friday! My Birthday. It was time to meet Cynthia White and go warbler hunting with Homer Hansen!
Trip description, "Warblers are challenging to identify and Homer is not only knowledgeable; he can help you to master this skill. You’ll visit appropriate habitats, and with Homer’s skill, you will soon be able to keep up with the best. Species that might be seen include Black-throated Gray, Nashville, Grace's, Lucy's, Virginia's, and Yellow Warbler, Painted Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Yellow-breasted Chat. Box lunch included. Homer will be presenting a workshop on Thursday afternoon where he will go over the basics of warbler ID. We recommend attending this workshop in preparation for this field trip."
Our first stop was Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, located within the Coconino National Forest of Sedona, AZ. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rock-Secret_Mountain_Wilderness
Besides spotting Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-throated Gray Warblers, Lucy's and Grace's, there were Painted Redstarts, Summer Tanagers and a Cassin's Kingbird.
The entire day was full of birds, sun, sweet people, and we had a crazy bus ride (understatement) back to camp.
Our friends, mentioned earlier, Bonnie and Libby, with their Bernese Mountain dogs Halle and Yogi, were down from Flagstaff. We threw on some blue cheese burgers and they brought over some lovely cheese cake! Yummo. Libby's birthday was a few weeks back, so we had a triple celebration. We spent the night talking away, all the while knowing we had to be up early for the canoe trip. David gave me some gifts, my favorite being the new birding/camera vest from Sportsman's Warehouse. I'm so lucky and so spoiled.
Description: On this, our signature trip, we will be taking canoes down the Verde River for a different perspective of the riparian habitat. We will beach the canoes at a private residence and be treated to a home-made brunch. Experienced paddlers pilot every canoe so you can sit back and enjoy the river’s surprises. There’s always the chance that you might get wet so wear shoes and clothes that can take the water. Shorts are recommended depending on weather. This trip is dependent upon the water flow.
Monday: Still under attack by hives, we make it back in one piece. Special thanks to David. His calm driving and easy nature made for a nice drive home. (We silently both knew...not having the Karmel greet us would be hard). David is my rock.
As we pull in the drive...something colorful catches my eye. OMG...what is that? Speaking of rocks...there's a bird painted rock perched by the front door. I start to squeal. Our daughter was by to water plants, she must have left it for my Birthday. How sweet.
We come inside and I find a large hand made card and hand painted bird house...Katrina!!! The card was telling me a migration of rock birds has arrived and I need to hunt them down in the yard! She and the kids have painted 15 rock birds for us to discover. From pure joy, I start crying and running all over the yard...
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos n
Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
Gambel's Quail, Callipepla gambelii n
Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus n
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias n
Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura n
Common Black-Hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus n
Harris's Hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus n
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis n
Osprey, Pandion haliaetus n
American Kestrel, Falco sparverius n
American Coot, Fulica americana n
White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica n
Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura n
Western Screech-Owl, Otus kennicottii n
Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus n
Broad-billed Hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris n
Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna n
Belted Kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon n
Gila Woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialis n
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Picoides scalaris n
Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
Gilded Flicker, Colaptes chrysoides n
Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans n
Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens n
Cassin's Kingbird, Tyrannus vociferans n
American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos n
Common Raven, Corvus corax n
Violet-green Swallow, Tachycineta thalassina n
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis n
Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps n
Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii n
House Wren, Troglodytes aedon n
Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris n
American Robin, Turdus migratorius n
European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris n (I)
Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
Phainopepla, Phainopepla nitens n
Virginia's Warbler, Vermivora virginiae n
Lucy's Warbler, Vermivora luciae n
Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia n
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata
Black-throated Gray Warbler, Dendroica nigrescens n
Yellow-throated Warbler, Dendroica dominica (A)
Grace's Warbler, Dendroica graciae n
American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla n
Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapillus (C)
Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas n
Painted Redstart, Myioborus pictus n
Yellow-breasted Chat, Icteria virens n
Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus n
Abert's Towhee, Pipilo aberti n
Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina n
White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys n
Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis n
Lazuli Bunting, Passerina amoena n
Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea n
Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra n
Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus n
Great-tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus n
Bullock's Oriole, Icterus bullockii n
House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus n
Lesser Goldfinch, Carduelis psaltria n
House Sparrow, Passer domesticus n (I)
The Chat and Oven bird were heard by Homer and not seen by me.