Debbie and I took a quad ride with our good friends, Kay and Bill yesterday. We went up the Buenos Aries Arroyo. I was up there last week and saw mostly Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks soaring above, few, if any, birds near the ground or in the trees.
So we were pleased to see our ole’ buddies, the Ash-throated Flycatchers socializing. You may remember them from my book “Birds We See” in Baja. They’re the ones that have a call that sounds something like a coaches whistle blowing.
As we moved along and gazed up the top of the arroyo we could see more birds that are familiar to us. We saw Cassin’s Kingbirds.
And then to our surprise and delight we spotted a bird I hadn’t photographed before. This was at a distance but certainly identifiable as a Thick-billed Kingbird. Kingbirds are in the Tyrant Flycatcher family.
After watching these birds for a while we headed on up towards one of the ponds. I see Debbie up by a turn in the trail and she’s just about jumping up and down on her quad pointing. She’s shouting “look up there”! “Look, by those rocks and that tree”. Well okay, we’re looking but all we could see was ROCKS and TREES. Where, what? Then it flew and we all saw a raptor. WOW! WOW!…… a Cooper’s Hawk! How cool, how exciting! My camera is in my backpack to keep the dust off it. Fumbling like an idiot I manage to untangle the straps from the dog-gone pack and raise the camera just before it flew off, yes! got it! Whew…
Birds like the Green-tailed Towhees, Canyon Towhees, California Towhees, and many kinds of Sparrows and more haven’t made it here yet. They will, sooner or later and all of us are looking forward to the treat of watching them. Hey you guys…Come on down!
And by-the-way, Debbie and I will be at the Art Fair this Sunday with books to sell, see you there.