Red Rock State Park on Hwy 89a South. We followed Google Maps, but unfortunately 'she' directed us to the north side of the SP, which resulted in our driving on a dirt road that ended at a Private Driveway. But I wasn't upset, we managed to see and photograph several Western Scrub Jays, a pair of Common Ravens, and a Red-shafted Flicker (at left).
The flicker (a female) was a challenge to identify. The golden forehead and gray throat suggested Gilded Flicker. But I managed a pic or two that showed a red undertail (Gilded Flickers would have a yellow undertail). Yellow-shafted Flickers would show a brown throat (not gray) and yellow undertail coloration.
Lesser Goldfinch moving along the shrubbery lining the trails. More Western Scrub Jays were flying about in the parking lot, so I walked around trying to get pics of them. The White-crowned Sparrow at left (Zonotrichia leucophrys) may be of the subspecies oriantha, which has a dark gray spot between the eye and orange-yellow bill. I saw several White-crowns that appeared to be of the subspecies gambelli, showing white supraloral stripe that extends in front of the eye to bill (below).
Lesser Goldfinch, and a flock of Chipping Sparrows. For several minutes I frantically attempted to get photos w/ the Nikon D300, 300/2.8 VRII, SB-800 flash and Better Beamer. The female Oregon Junco (below), with its paler grayish head could be confused with a Pink-sided Junco, which has a more prominent dark spot between the eye and bill.
A pair of male Spotted Towhees appeared near the path to the Visitor Center, and provided some nice looks and couple of quick photos. As I tried to digiscope them from the open field next to the center a pair of Canyon Towhees also appeared. I was able to get a couple of quick digiscoped images w/ the new Nikon V1 before the first of several Anna's Hummingbirds arrived.
I was then distracted by another Canyon Towhee that appeared in a snag just a few feet away and provided point-blank photos w/ the Nikon D300, 300/2.8 VRII, SB-800 flash and Better Beamer.
gorgeous magenta gorget! I managed a couple quick photos w/ the D300s and Better Beamer, but really wanted to digiscope it!
No matter how quick I was, the bird either flew off too soon, or stopped flashing its gorget just as I was about to photograph it. And I was also noticing that I wasn't getting multiple frames when I pushed the shutter on the V1.
hovering hummers at the feeders nearby.
I missed a pair of Bridled Titmice that were near the feeders, but I kept hearing a loud "CHUKK" coming from the trees overhead. It sounded like a quail, or a very large squirrel, but it turned out to be a female Anna's Hummingbird that was putting out a noise that was deafening!
We returned to L'Auberge Resort de Sedona around lunchtime. A walk into Uptown Sedona for lunch at the Open Range Bar & Grill was a nice treat. I was then able to buy a new cool hat to replace my somewhat floppy hat that was worn out.
As I was reviewing images from the new Nikon V1 it finally dawned on me that the Mode dial had been accidentally switched to "Motion Snapshot Mode", which captures a single frame and a 1-second video at 300fps and plays it back at 2.5 sec speed. So, instead of shooting multiple frames at 10 fps I was shooting 1-second videos! Grrr... Oh, well, no better way to learn a new camera than making mistakes of epic proportions. At least I was able to get a few keepers out of the single-frame captures.
Our cabin at the resort overlooks Oak Creek. From our window we could see a large flock of mostly Mallard Ducks that frequent the resort. But among the flock were some nice treats: two pair of Mandarin Ducks, two pair of Wood Ducks, a pair of American Wigeon, and a single Gadwall drake.
I spent a little time in the late afternoon sun digiscoping the ducks from only a few feet away when I was distracted momentarily by a Black Phoebe that appeared along the flowing creek. It only stayed a few moments, but provided some nice looks w/ binoculars. A Great Blue Heron flying overhead provided a nice end to my birding day. It was now time to go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary.