Archivos de diario de agosto 2014

17 de agosto de 2014

Trip Highlights: Northern AZ/NM August 2014

This is my inaugural iNaturalist journal entry, so bear with me...

This past week (8/7-8/14), my parents and I traveled, mostly along I-40, through northern Arizona and New Mexico, to visit relatives at a wedding in Santa Fe and old family friends outside Albuquerque. It was my first time visiting either state, so in addition to all the new wildlife possibilities, I also got a chance to start two new state lists for my bird counts. (In case you're wondering, I ultimately ended with 70 bird species in NM and 26 in AZ.) This being primarily a social visit with my non-naturalist parents, spending entire days looking for wildlife was out of the question, though this being the west (as Kenn Kaufman would say), gorgeous scenery and abundant wildlife awaited at many of our stops, and I of course took full advantage. About a week before the trip, I had just purchased my first DSLR camera (a Canon T3i), making this the perfect opportunity to "field-test" it. Gone are the days of the old point-and-shoot!

A quick rundown of my new wildlife sightings: we stayed the first night in Flagstaff, AZ, visiting Lowell Observatory at dusk, seeing Gunnison's Prairie Dog on the way and my lifer Broad-tailed Hummingbird in the parking lot. Two days later, in Santa Fe, NM, we went to Randall Davey Audubon Center, where another lifer, Canyon Towhee, appeared for me in the parking lot, followed by Rock Squirrel at the feeders. After arriving in Albuquerque on the 11th, we rode the tram up to Sandia Crest, where I barely saw my first (presumed) Colorado Chipmunks as we were boarding the tram to head back down. The next day, whilst exploring Edgewood and Moriarty east of ABQ, I saw my lifer Chihuahuan Ravens along NM 472 and Juniper Titmouse on the grounds of Edgewood's Wildlife West Nature Park, an all-native NM zoo home to non-releasable animals. Heading home on the 13th, we stopped at the Rio Grande Nature Center in downtown ABQ, where I saw several turtles I'd previously only seen as exotics here in CA, as well as some new lizards; in the afternoon, we visited the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, where animals were fairly scarce, but the landscape more than made up for that. On the final leg home on the 14th, we visited Meteor Crater in AZ, and had planned on a stop at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge along the Colorado River (which would have given a nice boost to my AZ bird list), but there was road work going on.

In addition to all the new wildlife, I also saw some animals I hadn't seen in a few years, such as Virginia's Warbler (a January 2010 lifer and vagrant to Humboldt County, CA, when I was going to school there), Curve-billed Thrasher (March 2010 lifer from TX), and Least Chipmunk (October 2010 in UT). I also dipped on a few lifers I was hoping to get, most notably Common Nighthawk, but I'm young, and their time will come. All in all, though, a pretty successful family road trip!

Ingresado el 17 de agosto de 2014 por john8 john8 | 70 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

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