Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ramsey Canyon Eye Candy

Erin Olmstead
My weekends so often get hijacked by unexpected projects or a week’s worth of postponed chores. Surely I'm not the only one? So my husband and I decided to take advantage of a light school workload last weekend, and get some relief from the heat and associated cabin-fever. To heck with the laundry! We headed down to the Huachucas for a relaxed birding daytrip.

We were greeted in Sierra Vista by a few fat raindrops, so the first order of business was to install the replacement wiper blade we picked up on the way. Presto change-o and we were ready to cruise for Scaled Quail under any conditions! We did end up getting a good afternoon thunderstorm complete with a double rainbow, but unfortunately, no quail! We pulled into Ramsey Canyon where the friendly preserve volunteers pointed us in the direction of some fun bird highlights near the visitors’ center:

A Violet-crowned Hummingbird was peering down at the trail from her nest;

while a pair of Painted Redstarts flitted around their nest nearby. What a treat!

We continued up the trail to the overlook, stopping along the way to check out the leopard frogs, and the many butterflies and dragonflies. It made me happy to see a scout troop and several families out exploring the preserve. It’s so important to make time to enjoy the outdoors [adults included!] and this daytrip was a great reminder for us to do so more often.

The next stop was Ash Canyon and Mary Jo’s impressive feeder setup, where we spent some time enjoying and studying the hummingbirds. Repeat, up close looks of a handful of species was like a pop quiz that helped me brush up on ID for hummingbird season! Before long, it was time to head back home. I can't wait to get back down to Sierra Vista this coming weekend for the Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival, where I'll be helping to man the TAS booth in the exhibit hall. Hope to see you there!

3 comments:

  1. Great photos Erin! What camera are you using?

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  2. Thanks, Kendall but I can't take the credit! These were digiscoped by Scott Olmstead, using a Canon A590 IS through a Swarovksi ATS 65 HD with a 20-60x eyepiece and the Swarovksi DCA. Thanks, Scott!

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