Fields near Madeira Canyon

Friday I went to Madeira Canyon with a birding guide. I had never been to the Canyon before. It is a very rich birding area, because it represents to northern end of the distribution of many Mexican species.

The rock wren (Amerikaanse Rotswinterkoning) is not one these birds, it occurs in all the western states. This bird was nicely posing on a rock, as it should given its name. I have indeed only seen this species on rocks.

Rock Wren

Rock Wren

The guide was looking for Lawrence’s Goldfinches (Maskergeelvink), that she had seen in the fields near the Canyon. We did find them, but my first picture from the car was not very sharp, although it shows the colors very well. And it is new species for me.

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

We did go look for them walking in the fields, we that gave this picture. Not perfect either, I will have to go back to Tucson.

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

While looking for the Lawrence’s Goldfinch I did get distracted by the much more common Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Ladderspecht). I hindsight, I should have stayed focussed on the goldfinches of course.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

The rufous-winged sparrow (Roestvleugelgors) looks a lot like the Chipping Sparrow. The guide says this is a rufous-winged sparrow because of the two mustachio markings under the chin. That is experience!

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

The first stop in the Canyon is at the favorite tree of a red-breasted sapsucker (Roodborstsapspecht). For Arizona, this is a rare bird, usually they stay in California. Click on this picture to see more of the same bird.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Tucson

I had a few days off in Tucson to go birding. An opportunity to add 19 new species to my picture database! I arrived at daybreak at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park, an set of (old) water treatment basins that are maintained for the enjoyment of birds and birders.

A Cooper’s Hawk (Coopers Sperwer) was setting in a treetop near the entrance. The picture came out very blue, but it is amazing what you can do with RAW files in Capture NX2 to get the true colors back.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

As the sun rose, the Red-winged blackbirds (Epauletspreeuw) became very vocal. There must have been a hundred birds, or at least that is how it sounded. The nice thing is that they are happy to show off their capabilities to visitors too. Although I think it is really more the competitors they care about.

Epauletspreeuw

Red-Winged Blackbird

The Cinnamon Teal (Kaneeltaling) was a new bird for me. The male is very brightly colored, very red. It took me a while to get a picture that did not overexpose the red!

Kaneeltaling

Cinnamon Teal

The female is not as colorful, she looks pretty much like most ducks do.

Kaneeltaling

Cinnamon Teal

Verdins (Geelkopmees) are small songbirds, and usually hard to catch. This bird decided to check me out on the top of a brush, that was very thoughtful of him. My second-best picture of this species.

Verdin

Verdin

A young Black-crowned Night Heron (Kwak) does not look the grown-ups, it is mostly brown while the adult birds are dark grey and white. This bird nicely blended in its surroundings.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

For the Abert’s Towhee (Zwartkintowie) is must be breeding season too. While they normally stay close to the ground, they were now singing on the highest branch.

Abert's Towhee

Abert’s Towhee

After a fairly wet spring Tucson was very green, at least to Sonoran Desert standards. One of the common weeds is mustard. The birds like the seeds, here a Gambel’s Quail (Gambels kuifkwartel) is enjoying them.

Gambel's Quail

Gambel’s Quail

Finally from this visit: a song sparrow (zanggors) posing nicely. Song sparrows are very common birds.

Song sparrow

Song sparrow