Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Zion NP + Bryce Canyon - 24.8.15

Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Before we left we had to go and get some food for the day and luckily for me the shop next to the food store had 3 hummingbird feeders. Even better was the fact that at least 5 Black-Chinned Hummingbirds were busily feeding including a stunning male. We were soon on the road again and at a quick stop near the exit of the park I jammed in on a SPOTTED TOWHEE as it flew over and landed in a bush and even had a brief sing! 3 Killdeer and a Magpie were the highlights from the van before we hit Bryce. Another quick loo stop produced 2 Turkey Vulture, Great Blue Heron, Clark's Nutcracker and 2 male American Kestrel along with another Coyote.

Utah Prairie Dog
Pygmy Nuthatch
On entering Bryce Canyon we briefly pulled over to get a look at a couple of rare Utah Prairie Dogs doing what they do best. Being nosey! We parked up and went to get our first look over the canyon and the breath taking Hoodoos. The amazing pillars of orangey red rocks of different shapes and sizes were quite something. Zooming past the viewpoint was a White-Throated Swift but it was soon time again to make a choice of which walk we wanted to do as some of the group had chosen to go horseback riding. As I'm allergic to horses I wandered off and quickly found 4 Western Bluebird, American Robin, 3 House Finch, 3 Clark's Nutcracker, 2 Audubon's Warbler, Mountain Chickadee and a Crossbill. Once they had set off the rest of us decided to stick together and do the moderate walk but no sooner had we started we had lost of the group but despite heading back to look for her there was no sign and then to make matters worse a thunderstorm hit as we were heading down the sloped path making it a bit slippery. Thankfully it soon stopped and dried out and out popped the birds including a lovely couple of WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, a juvenile Rock Nuthatch and the first of 12 PYGMY NUTHATCH. After the walk we sat down and cooled off and I noted Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Red-Tailed Hawk and my first ever Pink-Sided race of Slate-Coloured Junco.

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