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Bryce Canyon

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Flagstaff Area

Ponderosa pines    The ponderosa pine woods which enveloped our lodge for three nights were covered properly over a three hour period early on the second morning of the stay, following a short walk around the grounds the previous morning. Most of the species had been seen then, with only one or two more added. One thing that has to be said about the morning sortie was that it was very cold - daytime temperatures had been in the high 70's, but this morning began at around 40F degrees. On the other hand, light was reasonable at around 5am, and full when I started the rounds half an hour later.

    The predominant habitat is ponderosa pine woodland, with the occasional clearing for tracks running through. Yesterday's high profile Hairy Woodpeckers were again in attendance, being seen as soon as I left the doorway. Predominant species were probably Western Bluebird, which were in some cases feeding fledged young, and House Finches, often heard singing as well as being seen. Violet-green Swallows had been noticed in good numbers yesterday, but the treat of the morning was discovering that at least one pair of birds was coming to the ground to collect straw for nest building. A nectar feeder outside the neighbouring chalet only had one brief Black-chinned Hummingbird visiting.

    A little deeper into the woods were Dark-eyed Juncos, often located by singing males, but a further pair were found to be collecting food for young near to our room. Black-capped Chickadees were common, but diligence paid off when a few Mountain Chickadees were picked out. Only 1 Pygmy Nuthatch was seen on both mornings.

Hairy Woodpecker

Western Bluebird

Hairy Woodpecker

Western Bluebird

American Crow

Dark-eyed Junco

American Crow

Dark-eyed Junco

Violet-green Swallow

Abert's Squirrel

Violet-green Swallow

Abert's Squirrel

Walnut Canyon

 

Walnut Canyon

    This was a habitation site for the Sinagua Indians, who fled the volcanic eruption to colonise the ledges of this canyon. Juniper and pinyon pines abound here. Our visit found only the rim trail open, since a landslide had blocked the descent on the Island Trail. Potential species as seen on the boards include Townshend's Solitaire and Great Horned Owl, but we made do with Steller's Jay and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

Sunset Crater/Wupatki National Monument

    The loop containing these two sites is well worth doing for the scenic rewards, particularly the volcano crater for the still impressive lava fields and ash covered slopes. However, very little bird life was present at the volcano, apart from overflying Violet-green Swallows. Similarly, the Wupatki relicts only proffered a pair of Rock Wrens.

Sunset crater

Wupatki NM

Sunset Crater

Wupatki National Monument

Arboretum

 

Flagstaff Arboretum

    We landed here too late in the day to do the area justice, but the mix of habitats created for the arboretum make it a site of rich potential. Even a short walk around the immediate vicinity of the reception can add some common species to the list. It is worth noting that the opening times are 9 - 5, and entry outside of these seems impossible, since there are locked gates and a high fence.

American Robin

Brewer's Blackbird

American Robin

Brewer's Blackbird

Chipping Sparrow

Golden-mantled Ground-Squirrel

Chipping Sparrow

Golden-mantled Ground-Squirrel

Slide Rock

 

Slide Rock State Park

    This is ostensibly a family day out type of place, where dad and the kids can have fun in the clear waters of Oak Creek. However, some nice birds can also be seen while watching the fun and frolics, such as Bullock's Oriole, Hairy Woodpecker, and Black Phoebe. The short walk above the creek is worthwhile, and the skies above are adorned with numerous White-throated Swifts.

Red Rock Crossing

 

Red Rock Crossing

    This is a short walk through woodland and alongside a small creek to the base of Cathedral Rock, which in itself is worth the visit. Numerous birds can also be heard singing and calling as the walk progresses, many of which are Lesser Goldfinches, although we also added Phainopepla and Black Phoebe, with White-throated Swifts overhead.

Oak Creek

 

Oak Creek

    South of Sedona, and beyond yet more impressive red rock mesas is this small town, we did a road stop for a vista and walk to Bell Rock. We completed this short walk, and turned up nesting Western Kingbird, a pair of which were mobbing an unidentified hawk, with additional Ash-throated Flycatchers evident. The longer loop walk may be worth doing for more species and superb scenery.


Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Flagstaff

Page

Bryce Canyon

Las Vegas

Other NP's

Species list

Text only