Patogonia Lake State Park January 31, 2009 by Gusto!
In MY World today the air is chill and damp with the moisture from yesterday’s rain. A cold wind blows with the promise of snow in the desert later tonight and tomorrow. I fill my bird feeders in preparation for the promised snow which brings my first Pine Siskin of the year to my yard. What a change this is from last week when we had two days of temps in the 80’s. It was a week of warmth that started on January 31st when we were at Patagonia Lake State Park in search of the Elegant Trogon. There we saw the first blush of spring as new leaves burst forth from the swelling buds of a cottonwood tree.
Most of the trees are still naked, with the faintest blush of green just beginning on some. I feel the barrenness of promise in their stark naked limbs.
While there is no sign of the Trogon, a bird I have yet to see, the bridled titmice and plumbeous vireos flutter about the treetops and hop from limb to limb. Ruby-crowned kinglets are numerous and busy gleaning insects from the twigs and in the calm waters of the east end of the lake a flock of 30 mallards naps lazily in the sun.
Our time is growing short. We do not stay very long. I only count 24 species of birds today. Last year when I was here in March with my friend Kathryn we counted over 50 species of birds in one day at this State Park. Though the park rangers told me the Trogon was spotted here just yesterday, we have not seen beak nor feather of it. As we head out of the birding trail. Gus encounters two men who tell him they spent 4 hours searching for the bird earlier this morning. They took a break for the afternoon, and are now on their way to try to find it once again. My search will have to wait until another day, but one day soon I hope to find one and capture my own picture of the Elegant Trogon.