10 April 2013

Stabbing eastward

The next morning I birded Florida Canyon a little bit since Madera Canyon seemed pretty dead.  As always, the butterflies up in Florida Canyon provided me with some good chances for lifers.

First was this guy, which I misidentified as an Arizona Skipper, but was actually a new species for me, a SHORT-TAILED SKIPPER:

This is a SOUTHERN DOGFACE, a rather widespread species:

 Another new species for me was this attractive SOUTHWESTERN ORANGETIP:

The good fortune continued yet again with this lifer, a DESERT MARBLE:

Even though it wasn't new species for me, I've always loved metalmarks.  This is a FATAL METALMARK:

Every trip I've taken to southeastern Arizona has yielded dozens of GOLDEN-HEADED SCALLOPWINGS.  This was the case again:

But seriously, how could I hike up Florida Canyon and not look at birds?  Of course, I had a target in the back of my mind, the continuing RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS.  I've seen the species before, only once, back in 2004, but I would love to see it again and maybe add it to my photo list.

I DID end up seeing it but for so briefly that my only photos of it are out of focus.  I hardly care:

After finishing in southeastern Arizona, it was time to zoom eastward yet again.  I ended up staying in New Mexico and a local park provided me this CURVE-BILLED THRASHER:

The entire next day was spent drive through New Mexico and the behemoth, AKA Texas.  No pictures.

The following morning I woke up early and headed to the Friedrich Wilderness Park just north of San Antonio.  This is my bread-and-butter spot for seeing GOLDEN-CHEEKED WARBLERS.  My luck continued and I got to see this Texas endemic:

Being in that part of Texas also put me in range for BLACK-CRESTED TITMICE which were common at Friedrich:

As I was driving through the middle of San Antonio, I chuckled when a flock of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS flew over the interstate.  A weird place to see this year bird.  Just past San Antonio I started seeing CRESTED CARACARAS from the interstate as well.  I must not be in California anymore.

After San Antonio, it was time to continue eastward.  And that sums up 21-23 March.