2016-1st 6 Months

Klamath Refuge, California

Hoping to get breeding waterfowl (especially western grebes courting) I headed to the Klamath Refuge in far northern California in mid-March.  Bad planning as I was too early but there were still a lot of bald eagles and some waterfowl so I didn’t come back with nothing.                         


Bald Eagle

Rough-legged Hawk 3

Rough-legged Hawk   

Merlin 9          Merlin 



Sandhill Crane 47

Sandhill Crane

In mid-April we embarked in mid-April on a trip to the southern deserts of Anza Borrego (California) and southern Arizona but it was too late as we missed the desert blooming and active bird-life by about 3 weeks.  Towed the trailer 2700 miles; uninviting RV parks; hot weather and wind; but great times visiting old friends on the return trip.

Anza Borrego

Leapin’ Lizard RV Park was well kept, quiet and nicely laid out but was (unbeknownst to us) 17 miles from the State Park and surrounded with a very unscenic squalor of…rural “treasures”.


En route to Borrego Springs you pass original steel welded sculptures created by  Ricardo Breceda.  These scultures, commissioned by the late Dennis Avery (Avery Labels), land owner of Galleta Meadows Estates.  There are over 130 metal sculptures depicting pre-historic life in the area.




After 2 mornings of driving the 17 miles to the park headquarters for bird photography with limited results, I decided to cut our visit short and head to Arizona.

White-winged Dove 10

White-winged Dove

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 5

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher



We cut the proposed long drive to Amado, Arizona in half by staying at a Motel 6 in Yuma…minimally acceptable but one of the only one to accept our dog.

Amado, Arizona

Arriving at our RV Park destination in Amado, we quickly realized (again) that it definitely is a mistake to select a park by their web site.  Driving through our initially chosen park we decided to forfeit our deposit, selecting the “next-best” alternative (that was not that much better…but it was paved and had a couple of trees for shade).  Still very windy, though.


My reservation at Bill Forbes Pond at Elephant Head proved profitable in local bird photography from the blind at the pond and a day-trip to Madera Canyon produced a couple more species.  But we had to contend with the wind and thus Kathy spent the time inside the camper reading.

Gamble Quail 8

Gambel Quail 

    Gila Woodpecker 4

                                                                              Gila Woodpecker

Ladderback WP 7

Ladderback Woodpecker

Curve-billed Thrasher 16

Curve-billed Thrasher

Hooded Oriole 4

                                                                        Hooded Oriole


                                                                      Cactus Wren


                                                                                    Mexican Jay

Roadrunner 15


Pyruloxia 8


After that it was strictly heading back north and visiting friends in Arizona and southern California but after 2 weeks it was great to get back home.

 Paradise, California

Due to increased spread of avian disease resulting from birds crowding at feeders in California, we followed the advice of the California Fish and Wildlife Department and removed all our bird feeding devices with the exception of one suet feeder that normally has one bird at a time.  So, photography was limited to watering areas, our trees surrounding the property, and the open space behind.


Acorn Woodpecker 

Phainopepla 12


Oak Titmouse22

Oak Titmouse

Bathtime 9


Off to Panama in July!