Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weeknight Screeching

It is what it is, and what it is is not much weekend birding, a proper morning of crappy fast food breakfast and day lists pushing 100. Instead it's stealing out fora  few hours on a Tuesday to see what Owls might be poking around (not Elf Owls, with the recent cold front, dammit) and how many times one might be almost-trampled by the feral horses along the Salt River.

Western Screech-Owls might not have the majesty nor the accommodating gifts of the Humboldt County Great Gray--in fact, they lose out to that bird in every department except maybe for "Best Owl to Sneak Home in One's Cargo Shorts," but hey it's only 4 weeks until school it out, and much like the shade of Voldemort ghosting through the woods feeding on unicorn's blood (is that an obscure reference yet?) the Salt River Owls will keep me alive.

My buddy Will joined me for this particular foray, and while the Owl selfie game still needs work, out teamwork did prevent us from falling victim to the unpleasant and unwashed busybody guy that followed us around for a little while, more I think out of boredom and loneliness than genuine masculine attraction (although, you know, a bit of that).

Western Screech-Owl, showing its bloomers.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cut-throat Birding

This may be the shortest worst post featured on Butler's Birds in years, one to test true loyalty and/or boredom. That is the disclaimer. This Sunday I made the 3-hour haul out to the charming Cluff Ranch riparian area in Graham County, the recent exposé of a male Rose-throated Becard. I have done very little birding in Graham county and even though time was limited this was a great spot, with almost 60 species record in 3 hours, many of whom were very vocal.

The Becard had been seen regularly near an old cattle gate along a portion of the pedestrian trail around 8:30am. The hope was to find the bird earlier, as departing Cluff Ranch at 8:30 would allow 3 hours for arrival for an 11:30 appointment. 
I started the trail around 7:00am and by luck or judgment, the Becard was foraging high in some cottonwoods and giving occasional single-notes on the far side of the pond, a little ways away from its usual haunt. 

Alas I only got the one blurry photo for diagnostics and did not relocate the bird before 8:30; in fact I do not know if it was re-found on the day, so by luck or judgment the quick sighting proved sufficient and satisfying. Back pats and hand slaps all 'round.