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Bryce Canyon

Las Vegas

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Bryce Canyon

    Good numbers of sightseers meander around the various trails of Bryce Canyon, but it is worth joining in and wandering both the Rim Trail and also the hikes descending into the formations of the spectacular canyon. In addition, one or two species of birds are found: my own targets of Clark's Nutcracker (pair along the Queen's Garden Trail), and Mountain Bluebird (female along the Rim Trail) were both ticked off during one walk. Violet-green Swallows are always overhead, with 3 White-throated Swifts putting in a noisy appearance. At the Sunset Point picnic site, a couple of White-breasted Nuthatches came more or less to the tables, with a Dark-eyed Junco a little more reticent.

    First aim of the morning was the tourist orientated sunrise watch from Inspiration Point - not such a bad idea since it shows up the hoodoos of the canyon in a positive light. After passing a couple of Mule Deer in the half light, I was surprised that there were so few people around - one or two huddled at the lookout posts in the cold morning air.

    After gasping at the spectacle that is sunrise (admittedly it was a reasonable effect), the rim between Sunrise and Sunset Points was covered. The main habitat of interest is the bristlecone pine woodland which backs on to the rim path. The White-breasted Nuthatches of yesterday didn't put in an appearance, but one of the mysteries solved - a distant singing bird suspected as Townshend's Solitaire was probably backed up by a much closer singing bird on the rim, which then continued to feed on the path. Western Bluebirds were again evident, as were a couple of Dark-eyed Juncos. A distant singing sparrow was eventually tracked down to perch near to the Bryce Canyon Lodge - a dapper Green-tailed Towhee. A much more difficult songster was Grace's Warbler, flitting from bristlecone pine to pine, but occasionally showing well enough between trees for identification. A small group of Brown-headed Cowbirds was possibly a family party, often to be found squabbling in the undergrowth. Only other species of note were 2 separate calling Western Tanagers.

Sage brush

 

    Before returning for breakfast, a brief sortie to the sage brush on the opposite side of the main road had to be done. It quickly became evident that more time should have been spent here, since the potential of the area seemed huge. After a singing Western Meadowlark, the first of a few Sage Thrashers was found near to the road. While watching this, a grouse of some description erupted from near to me, but couldn't be relocated. A sparrow on the other side of the road seemed to have potential but disappeared before it could be screened properly.

Townshend's Solitaire

Green-tailed Towhee

Townshend's Solitaire

Green-tailed Towhee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Cowbird

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Cowbird

Home

Paintings gallery

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DVD

Contact

Site map

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Content

Introduction

Flagstaff

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Bryce Canyon

Las Vegas

Other NP's

Species list

Text only