Tony and I were back on the beautiful Mogollon Rim one day last week, specifically at Woods Canyon Lake. We met our good buddy, Marika, there. She has been volunteer camp hosting at an Arizona State Park close to Show Low for the last 2 months and Woods Canyon was a half-way point between there and Phoenix.
Marika is an experienced birder and it’s largely because of her that I got 3 lifers this day!
Mountain Chickadee (lifer)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (lifer)
And a very bad shot:
Hermit Thrush (lifer)
The chipmunks and squirrels were decimating the pine cones. Delicious!
These guys were lifers when we were there in June:
The last time we were at Woods Canyon, I got 3 lifers so that is a total of 6 lifers I have gotten there! Good birding.
Since it’s the month of Halloween, here’s the creepiest thing spotted that day:
Western Tent Caterpillars
The Rim Road leading to the lake has many exceptional vista points and a trail that goes right along the edge of the Rim. We stopped there on the way out and took in the always breath-taking views.
Rock Squirrel, appreciating the view from the edge of the Rim
Also in the spirit of Halloween, the bizarrest thing spotted that day, just laying on a rock close to the edge…fun to speculate all the dark reasons why that might have been laying there…Boo!
Rockin’ the Rim:
This is Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ, part of the Prescott National Forest. We spent a rainy day up there this past week but, fortunately, the rain did let up now and then giving us time to walk around for quite awhile. It’s not that we’re afraid of the rain but I don’t like the cameras to get too soaked.
See the snag on the left side of the above photo?
It was a tree that seemed to attract these cormorants. There were actually more a few minutes later but this is the only photo I got. This guy was top dog in the tree:
This is the dam which is at the far end of the first photo.
Great Blue Heron
Red-eared Pond Sliders
It was another bad birding day, certainly no lifers. I hope my bird luck changes soon. As always, it was beautiful up there and much cooler than Phoenix but also very humid.
I guess we had not been to Lynx Lake for 7 years! Here are 2 posts I wrote back then (1 and 2).
We apparently stood in almost the same spot as the top photo in this post back then. Here it is almost exactly 7 years ago:
Acorn Woodpecker, female
If you don’t live in the purple range below at an elevation over 4500 feet, maybe you’ve never seen one of these comical woodpeckers before. I hadn’t~at least not since I’ve been paying attention to birds. So I was excited to see a lot of them the other day when we went to Goldwater Lake in Prescott, AZ.
This is a granary tree, above, the main food storage “pantry” created and used by communal groups of these fascinating woodpeckers. They have a complex social system where family groups hold territories, and young woodpeckers stay with their parents for several years and help the parents raise more young. Several different individuals of each sex may breed within one family, with up to seven breeding males and three breeding females in one group (Cornell Lab). There can be up to 50,000 holes in one tree!
Acorn Woodpecker, male
This whole area was very birdy and beautiful! The dam separates the upper and lower lakes.
Western Bluebird, female
Western Bluebird, male
The Bluebirds were also lifers and the female was very accommodating. I have many shots of her. Also easy to photograph were the Juncos. I got a new subspecies, below. I also got another lifer, a Bridled Titmouse, but my photos are very blurry.
Dark-eyed Junco, Red-backed
This is actually a Prescott city park but it is part of Prescott National Forest. Nice trails.
Common Raven, snacking
Ruddy Duck, with blue bill in breeding plumage
Great Blue Heron
Marine Blue Butterfly
These first few photos were taken at St. Patrick’s County Park, also on the river.
There is a Bald Eagle nest at this park that has been inhabited for the last couple of years. The eagles took over an existing Red-tailed Hawk nest (I didn’t know they did that). Below is the nest.
And my mom and I saw one of the eagles in a nearby tree! Wish I had my birding lens for that. Here’s their Bald Eagle Live Cam.
On another day, I went to Madeline Bertrand County Park in nearby Niles, Michigan, and that’s where I got 4 lifers in less than an hour! These are birds we don’t see in Arizona.
Dark-eyed Junco, Slate-colored
I also saw a beautiful Blue Jay but the photos are pretty blurry.
Northern Cardinal, Indiana State Bird
We have Great-tailed Grackles in AZ but in Indiana, they have these guys all over the place (my 5th lifer):
The robins were in abundance everywhere, pudgy little things.
In the 2 weeks I was there, I experienced all the seasons but summer. The temperatures ranged from 19 to about 65. We had rain, snow, sleet, hail (golf ball-sized), tornados all around us, and a little sun. I prefer Arizona’s 2 seasons, beautiful and hot. I’m fortunate it was “mild” while I was there, for the most part. Bye, snow.