Thursday, December 17, 2009

Skywatch Friday: December Blue

December Blue sky looking south from Rio Rico Dr.

(please click to enlarge, you'll be so glad you did!)

Gus and I took a drive to Rio Rico on Saturday to enjoy the good weather and do a bit of bird watching right along Rio Rico drive, between the Santa Cruz River and the Rio Rico pond. Gus pulled off onto the shoulder so I could check out this flooded field for birds. I never left the car but simply watched birds from the open window, using my vehicle as a blind. It paid off as I soon added 3 new species to my Santa Cruz County Life List!

These are the birds I saw in this spot. Birds new to the Santa Cruz County List are in blue. Besides the listed birds were many "peeps" I could not identify, partly because I am still learning my sandpipers and plovers, partly because I don't have a spotting scope and they were too far away, and partly because they are in winter plumage which makes it even more difficult!

Location: Rio Rico Ag. Field South
Observation date: 12/12/09
Notes: Seen in flooded ag. fields between Santa Cruz river and Rio Rico pond. Pulled off of the road but never left vehicle. Used it as a blind. There were more peeps but I could not I.D. them all.
Number of species: 18

Gadwall 2
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 10
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 2
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture 1 See far to the south soaring.
Prairie Falcon 1 This is my best guess. Fast flight, pointed wings, brownish. Came out of nowhere pursuing peeps.
Killdeer 3
Least Sandpiper 4
Long-billed Dowitcher 8
Wilson's Snipe 3
Gila Woodpecker 1
Say's Phoebe 1
Vermilion Flycatcher 1
Red-winged Blackbird 26
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's) 3
Brewer's Blackbird 8

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(


Max said...

Looks like a great place to see a prairie falcon in winter. Did you look for its dark "armpits"?

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying everyone's warm, sunny photos - especially yours.

Good birding!

Doug Taron said...

I know that spot well- though I only ever see it in August. Even though its southern Arizona, your photo makes it look wintry. Nice.

Gaelyn said...

Love the sharp contrast of color.

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is a stunning photo, the colour contrasts are amazing.

Kathie Brown said...

Max, I know to look for those "dirty" armpits, but it all happend so fast and the falcon and birds went over the tree line into the distance. The bird was so fast and its wings were so pointy I almost though it was a Kite. But I do not have much experience with kites and I was surprised to read that they only eat mammals, so I knew the bird must be a bird eating bird! It was much larger than a kestrel also.

Wren, I hope you can feel it. It's about 73 today.

Doug, thank you! It does look wintery and this day it almost felt like it as the sun went down.

Gaelyn, I like it also.

Crafty Green Poet, it looks like you, Gaelyn and I all like the same thing! Thanks for stopping by!

Redzlan said...

Wow!.. so blue the sky.
We have grey and cloudy sky for the past one week.
Have a great week-end!

Keith W said...

Wonderful photo! You really captured the feel of Winter...

Splendid Little Stars said...

a lovely photo! such a gorgeous sky!