Monday, February 24, 2014

A Sticky Day at Coon Bluff

Its an odd February this year, unusually warm and in stark contrast to last year's record freeze. Many birds are making their appearance early, as if its spring.  Yet when we go to photograph these lovely gems, they are perched in a menacing tangle of twigs.  Its too early and the trees have yet to bloom.

So instead of capturing the birds out in the open as they nibble on fresh green foliage, we must fight our way through the terrible "stick people" who try to block every shot, no matter what the angle. A group of gorgeous Western Bluebirds stayed constantly out of range and only revealed their magnificent blue feathers during quick bursts of flight in and out of the twisted twiggy mesquite trees.

This beautiful male Northern Cardinal took pity on me and stepped out in the open just long enough for me to get a halfway clear shot before retreating back into obscurity.

The Phainopepla continuously mocked me by perching alluringly out in the open, yet so high up as to thwart off any closeup shots.  Are they tired of the parade of bird paparazzis who track them down at every turn and rudely point big black lenses at them?

This Black Phoebe (cleverly disguised as a Northern Rough-winged Swallow ;-) see comments) brazenly sat out in the open, taking a rest from a busy morning of dipping and diving along the river's edge, too tired to care about the paparazzi below.

Finally the resident pair of Bald Eagles at Coon Bluff stopped by and chatted away atop the cliff.  A nice ending to a rather "sticky" day at the Salt River.

Photos (mediocre at best) by Peggy Thomas


  1. This February has been so strange!!

    It makes me nervous, a bit, to see what happens in Spring and summer, if everything will just get roasted.
    Great photos Peggy. The Coon Bluff site is one of my favorites, and in a month or so it'll be covered in wild flowers.

    P.S. I think your Black Phoebe is a N. Rough-winged Swallow : )

    1. EeeeGadzzz! A Northern Rough-winged Swallow! Obviously I need to spend more time ID-ing, and less time fussing with photos and whining about the lack of foliage. Thank you Laurence for pointing out the error :-).


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