Monday, February 24, 2014

My Favorite Museum

Jeff and I drove into Tucson one day last week and had a quick visit to my favorite museum.

Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum

Desert museum_003It was a busy day at the museum.

Busloads of school kids.

Desert museum_015Jeff and I only had a few hours to spend here…

Desert museum_005We knew we wouldn’t have time to see the whole park..

Desert museum_011So we just enjoyed the little bit we did see..

Desert museum_008We walked the upper paths of the museum..

Desert museum_016Stopping to see what's smelling the flowers..

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Two of my Sickstas want me to collect some Cholla cactus pieces for them..

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I couldn’t collect them here..but I know a few places where the ground will be littered with fallen pieces..

Desert museum_025I will bag them up and hopefully they will live another few months until they make it to North Carolina and Connecticut.

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Sorry Sickstas..

Cant fit one of these in the paper bag..

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I saw these Tufted Evening Primrose and was wondering if Sicksta Adele might be able to grow these in NC.

Desert museum_030A gorgeous flowering Aloe Ferox

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Jeff and I spent quite a bit of time in the

Hummingbird Aviary

Desert museum_042There were many photographers here getting up close shots of hummers.


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When we left the hummers we headed to the Café for some lunch.

Always a good lunch there..nice selections of sandwiches and salads.


We had no time for the gallery..

Darn..hopefully we will get back before we leave AZ.


museum_037A cool metal Javelina..

museum_040Cactus and spring flowers..



Mescal Bean flowering..

this smelled insanely delicious.. sweet and grapey

Desert museum_149Cactus Wren in the wilds of the museum..

Desert museum_156Rufous-backed Robin..

In the enclosed Aviary

Desert museum_177It was a quick but delightful visit.

I hope we have one more chance to visit before heading east.

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Sun sets on our trip back to Homey in Patagonia..

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Wren or not the Wren? Sinaloa

Jeff and I thought we would drive to Fort Huachuca to search for the Sinaloa Wren .

Sinaloa Wren (Thryothorus sinaloa), Huachuca Canyon, Cochise County

This Sinaloa Wren was discovered by Ron Beck on 02 September 2013 and photographed by Charles W. Melton on 03 and 30 September 2013.  Sound recordings were made on 02 September 2013 by Janet Cunningham and Joe Woodley. 

Potential third US record.  The only previous records of this species for the ABA area are the long staying bird in Patagonia, AZ in 2008-09 and a second bird at nearly this location in Huachuca Canyon in 2009.  This species is essentially a west Mexican endemic. It is regular in central Sonora and is reported to be expanding its range northward so that it now can apparently be found within 30 miles of the US border.

see more here.. 


On September 2, 2013, Ron Beck and others discovered an apparent ABA Code 5 Sinaloa Wren in Huachuca Canyon, on Fort Huachuca in Cochise County, Arizona. The bird was subsequently seen by many and recorded both singing and calling. This is the third record of Sinaloa Wren in the ABA area.

more from ABA here

When we arrived in the location where the bird had been seen there were birders already looking for the bird.

One was playing a recording of the wren which angered Jeff so he walked up the road a bit. I wasn’t sure if we were in the correct location so I texted a friend who had seen the wren before and he gave me some good instructions.

I also went online and read that it had been seen going in and out of its nest. I knew to look for a skulker, it forges on the ground in the leave and can be difficult to see.

I  also told the person using the recording that this was a skulky bird and the recording might scare it off.

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I walked around for a while until one of the birders said she heard movement in the leaves nearby.

A group of birders assembled and we saw a wren fly onto a tree trunk and into a nest. I was too slow and only got this shot of the bird after it left the tree trunk and before it flew into the nest.

Was it the Sinaloa Wren?

We had questions because this was a new bird for us and we were not sure.

Others said it was the bird.

Sinaloa Wren_001It had been reported going to a nest..

This is the nest we saw this wren go into..

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We saw the bird fly out of the nest after spending several minutes inside.

It took a while to relocate the bird.

A local birder re-found the bird and signaled us to come see it.

He said this was the

Sinaloa Wren.

Sinaloa Wren_012I took several shots with my point and shoot to document the bird.

The bird was in and out of leaf litter..

Sinaloa Wren_013We got pretty good looks..

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When I read the description of the bird online I think it is the bird.

Sinaloa Wren_024Then I look at my photos and question..

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The Wren or not the Wren?

That is the question

Sinaloa Wren_027This is where we lost the bird..and decided it was time to leave.

At this point we were assured by other birders that this was the Sinaloa Wren.

What do you think?

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An owl or not an owl?

Anyone know what shoe makes this print?

I want one!

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

San Rafael Grasslands

Well, here we are…in Patagonia, AZ. We have been here for over a week now and are having a super time! I have about four blog posts waiting for me to work on them so that They can be published.

Its just that Jeff and I are out all day and when we get back to Homey..I feel like kicking back and watching a movie or a show on TV.

Today we were back early enough that I have some energy left..sooo


I will start with our trip yesterday to one of my favorite magical places to visit in the area…

San Rafael Grasslands

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Grass and more grass in a huge valley…San Rafael Grasslands_002

Surrounded by distant mountains..

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A few trees speckled in..

San Rafael Grasslands_012We visited the grasslands in the evening..

San Rafael Grasslands_005Long shadow of me..

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We also came to look for birds..

Sparrows, Horned Lark, Meadowlark, Northern Harriers and whatever else might show itself.

San Rafael Grasslands_016Distant cattle..

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San Rafael Grasslands_024My favorite mountain in the area..

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The sun starts to become low in the sky..

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We hope for a good sunset..

San Rafael Grasslands_035Some pale pinks..

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Magic in grass, sky and mountains..

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I ♥♥♥♥♥ this place!

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More pinks In the East..

In the west it’s a pale sunset…not what we hoped for but beautiful non the less..

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We leave and look for Short eared owls as we drive out of the grasslands.

We didn’t see any this visit…

Will be back again soon!

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My other posts on the Grasslands here..

Stay tuned for where we have been, what we have seen and a Life Bird!