Champions of the Flyway!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Grand Canyon, Arizona - birds and mammals

It seemed like a long, long time since May and the days of 15+ warbler spp. in New York and Mass, hence this stunning and co-operative Black-throated Grey Warbler, feeding in juniper scrub on the edge of the canyon, was very much appreciated.

Western Bluebird

With the general distraction of the surrounding landscapes (and a constant stream of Turkey Vultures going over), it seemed highly unlikely that I'd be looking up, in the right direction and at the right time, to nail one of North America's rarest birds and the canyon's elusive speciality...

But fortune was on my side, and this California Condor soared above us for a minute or so before disappearing into the blue. The photos would be better, but one's inner virtuous bird guide took precedence, directions were patiently explained, binoculars were passed around and happily most of the people around me enjoyed good views of this magnificent beast as a result. Do the right thing, kids.

White-throated Swift - common and omnipresent, noisy and acrobatic

Vacuum cleaners (aka Grand Canyon Rock Squirrels)