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A Report from

A casual bird watching visit to Arizona & Utah, 5th to 21st Nov 2007,

Alec Cheney

The main focus was on a coach tour of the parks and canyonlands of the Wild West. With 29 participants and, Irene and I the only two birdwatchers, we had to take our chances when and were. There was no chance to stop the coach to check out the ID of a roadside perched hawk! Nevertheless we still managed to see an interesting range of birds and, although this was our fifth visit to America we still saw some “lifers”

Locations visited: Phoenix (start and finish of the trip). We had and extra 5 days at the end which helped the birdwatching.The grounds in our Hotel in Scottsdale and surrounding “grand” houses provided plenty of irrigation, with green lawns and lots of flowering plants to attract a variety of birds. We had humming birds flying around our balcony and three different types of woodpecker feeding on Palms right outside our balcony.

Monument Valley / Moab / Arches Nat Park/ Canyonlands Nat Park / Zion Nat Park / Lake Powell / Glen Canyon Dam / Flagstaff / Sedona

List of Species seen

California Condor: Birding highlight of the holiday. Very close views of this magnificent bird soaring over the south rim of The Grand Canyon was a memorable experience. A young American boy was shouting “California Condor” at every passer by and his excitement was very evident.

Gila Woodpecker: common in Phoenix

Acorn Woodpecker: seen at The Grand Canyon

Northern Flicker: seen in Phoenix and Moab

Ladder-backed woodpecker: In Hotel garden Scottsdale

Red-naped Sapsucker : In Hotel garden Scottsdale

Costa`s and Anna` Hummingbirds:  common in Scottsdale and in The Desert Botanical garden at Phoenix (were we also shown the nest and egg of this tiny bird)

American Robin: Flock seen in Moab (said to be of Canadian origin, the local population apparently migrates south.) Single birds seen elsewhere.

Orange-crowned Warbler: seen at Sedona

Northern Mockingbird: common overall

Western Bluebird: seen at Grand Canyon

European Starling:  common in Phoenix area

Great-tailed Grackle: Common around Scottsdale

Dark-eyed Junco: seen at Flagstaff

House sparrow: common in Scottsdale

White-crowned Sparrow: seen in Scottsdale & Desert Botanical Garden

Verdin (yellow-headed small bird): at Desert Bot Gdn

White-breasted Nuthatch: seen at Moab

Mountain Chickadee: common in mountain forest areas

Ash-throated flycatcher: seen in Scottsdale hotel grounds

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Several seen on roadside perches.

Red-tailed Hawk: seen at Flagstaff and Lake Powell

Common Raven: very common overall particularly in the mountains. Made a nice contrast in size with the Condor at grand Canyon

House finch: seen in Scottsdale

Black Phoebe (flycatcher) : seen in Scottsdale

Pinyon Jay: seen at Arches national Park

Stellar`s Jay: seen at Oak creek nr Sedona

Gambels`s Quail: lovely birds with topknot very tame in Desert Bot Gdn but much more wary in Scottsdale

Rock Pigeon: seen in Scottsdale

Mourning Dove: common in Scottsdale

Lesser Goldfinch: seen in Moab and at the Desert Bot garden

Cactus Wren: very well seen at the Desert Bot Garden

Mallard: seen at Oak Creek

American Coot: 12+ on lake Powell Nr houseboats

Gadwall; seen at Oak Creek

Northern Cardinal: seen in garden nr hotel in Scottsdale

Rock Wren: seen at desert botanical garden

Black-tailed gnatcatcher: seen at desert botanical garden

Curve-billed Thrasher:       “      “      “        “              “

Yellow-rumped Warbler:     “      “      “       “              “

Abert`s Towhee:                     “      “       “      “              “

The weather overall was much warmer than normal (for the time of the year) Scottsdale =+ 80c Moab =65c and even Flagstaff was over 60c. At night mountain regions colder we had frost one night at Bryce. In Scottsdale nights were still + 60c.


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