Arizona/California 2008 with Dave & Marilyn travel blog

Northern Jacana

Approaching Picacho Peak and the town of Red Rock

Broad-billed Hummingbird (captive at Desert Museum)

Burrowing Owl (captive at Desert Museum)

Kildeer (captive at Desert Museum)

Sonoran Desert from Museum paths

Ocelot (Captive-Desert Museum)

Driving out of the Sonoran Desert-bact to our RV park in the...

Today was a one-out-of-two ratio on the continuing life bird quest plus a trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Picture perfect weather accompanied our early departure for Casa Grande, a 2.5 hour trip to find a rare Northern Jacana at the Dave White Municipal Golf Course. We quickly found the great little bird flying from one hazard pond to another on the edge of the golf course right where he was reported to be. He has enormous long toes giving him an exaggerated gracefulness when he walks. We did stay longer than planned because we were mesmerized by his walking style while foraging along the pond edge. We didn’t get to see him display with his wings as we had heard he was known to perform.

Again, we got greedy as we went looking for the reported Ruddy Ground-Dove in the outskirts of “greater metropolitan” Red Rock. Specific instructions lead us to where they had been seen next to a feedlot, but no birds to be found. While searching and re-searching the area, we did find a Common Ground-Dove and Eurasian Collared- Doves, however. You win some and you lose some.

We spent the afternoon at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, one of Marilyn’s favorite Tucson destinations. By now the day had reached perfect short-sleeve temperatures. We headed straight for the hummingbird aviary and then to the Arizona aviary to get up-close and concentrated looks at many of the “local” birds. The desert museum is centered in a wonderful location in the Sonora desert with a fabulous collection of native plants and animals of the area. Marilyn got an eyeball-to-eyeball look at a Mountain Lion. Fortunately one of them was behind glass.

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