Two weeks!

 

 

I never thought I’d say that a two week trip felt short, but this time has flown by.  I like to think that is because we’ve had the perfect balance of down time and “bird time”, though I can see that everyone is getting tired of the early mornings.  When they hear “leave at 7:45” and say that is a late morning, you know you’ve done your job as an ornithology professor.  

Tomorrow is our last full day of “class” and then we fly out of Phoenix on Friday morning.  It’s going to be a sad day, but I won’t think about that now.

The last morning in Cottonwood, we went to DeadHorse Ranch State Park, which was….cold.  Really cold.  We saw some great birds in the few hours we were there, though they didn’t start to get really active until an hour or so after we got there.  We took the scenic route up to Flagstaff when we left Cottonwood on Sunday morning, and stopped at a few places, including the Oak Creek Canyon overlook.

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Before we went into the Canyon, we stopped at my graduate advisor’s house to store some of the gear we didn’t need and to make space for the food for three days.  He was the best advisor I could have ever hoped for, and just an all-around great guy.  When we were there, He offered to run to his office, get some mist nets, and put them up so we could catch birds!  Since I don’t have a master bander permit, this was the students’ only opportunity to hold birds.

I hadn’t held a bird in a long time and was so happy that we caught THREE Evening Grosbeaks (a new bird species, even)

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I don’t have photos everyone, unfortunately, but here are a few that I got of students holding their first birds.

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I want to stay up and write all about our Grand Canyon adventures of the past days, but I’m exhausted from adventuring, so I’ll save the stories for next time. 

Here are a couple of teaser pictures, though.

Being the first one up (some would say “the early bird”) sure has its perks.  5:30 am camp photo:  

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Birding on the South Rim Trail:

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Looking up at the South Rim from Plateau Point:

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Tomorrow we’re owling!

Good night!

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