In early March, we left the Grand Canyon and headed to the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve. On the way, we took a pit stop with our old friends of the Great Basin Bird Observatory in Lake Havasu.
When we woke up at the Canyon, the temperature was hovering near 20°F. The sounds of Pygmy Nuthatches and Evening Grosbeaks all around, in four hours we dropped 6000 feet and found mainly Eurasian Collared Doves enjoying the 80°F afternoon. The pile of muddy boots on the porch told us we had arrived at the field house, and Dawn, Dave, Bob, Alicia, Lauren and David were settling inside to meet us. Aside from Lauren and DVP, we hadn’t seen any of the others in nearly two years! Later that night, even more familiar faces at the restaurant when we met up with Amy and Zach and their newest family member, Ayla. Of course we forgot to take any photos of people on this particular visit…
It was great meeting up with everybody and then catching up some more with our hosts, the famous Arizona birding power-couple Lauren Harter and David Vander Pluym. In the morning, we all drove out to Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, a place that Anne and I have barely visited, and went birding with the crew as everybody recalibrated their eyes and ears to the sounds of Verdin and Abert’s Towhee. We even managed to get some new state birds, including the Eastern Phoebe below!
Maybe we’ll manage to arrange a rendezvous or two with the GBBO crew during the field season…
These first two photos are of the Eastern Phoebe which was seen around Havasu NWR since late January.
The next few shots are of ducks, some odd, some easy. The Canvasback was certainly not doing well and was stuck in a tiny pothole. It was still gorgeous.
American White Pelicans fly in huge flocks up and down the Colorado River.
Here is a Greater Roadrunner impersonating an American Bittern!