Leaving Las Vegas

Another beautiful drive down highways bordered by purple, orange,  yellow, white ad pink flowers.  Lots of green plants in the desert as well.

March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day!  Arrived at Sam’s Town RV park in Las Vegas where we’ve stayed twice before.  Just on the east edge of town next to Henderson.  Henderson has an excellent bird viewing area.  It’s cloudy but hot – about 30C!  Went out for Mexican food at our favourite restaurant at Sam’s Town – Willy & Jose’s  – good food!

March 18-19:  Birded Henderson.  Day 1 was cloudy without a breath of wind.  Started out about 17C in the morning – t-shirt weather.  Just excellent.  We got all our target birds, except for Wood Duck.  Next day it was partly sunny, calm in the morning and we got our duck!  Took alot of patience, but finally found both male and female.

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This is what we thought we’d have for a record.  Can you spot this spectacular duck hidden in the middle of the photo in the brush?

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Patience rewarded.

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On another pond (there are 9 of them) we found this group sunning themselves.  L-R:  N. Shoveller, Mallard,  Ring-necked female, Common Moorehen & a bunch of shovellers, male and female.

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Also found our Crissal Thrasher.  It was a Lifer for us the first time we came here.  We asked at the visitor center if they knew where we might find one – told us they nest here!  Sure enough!  Biggest bill of all thrashers.

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Finally got some type of shot of Abert’s Towhee – not the greatest, but all we got!  We’ve seen his little black face quite a few times, but never long enough for a photo.

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A red admiral butterfly showed up, which we’d seen in TX.

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We think waterfowl are lovely.  Here is a Lesser Scaup.

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…Pied-billed Grebe

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…Cute little Buflenead

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…a lovely pair of Cinnamon Teal, sleeping peacefully together.

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This Ruddy Duck is still acquiring its rust plumage – what pretty feathers.  You can see a bit of his white cheeks as he sleeps.

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…and this swarm of Shovellers feeding together.  We’ve seen this behaviour several different places.

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Then there are the waders.  Here are 2 for Lorne.  An Avocet which has re-acquired his lovely rust head (which is white in winter) and a Black-necked Stilt.

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These 3 Long-billed Dowitchers look large compared with the Least Sandpiper in front.

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Of course, many Canada Geese are winging their way northward.

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The acacia are in bloom everywhere, with gusts of sweet fragarance wafting our way whenever we go by.

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Last year’s dried seed heads will be taken over by new green growth.

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The purple prickly pear cactus is really bubble-gum pink!

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Around the ponds Marsh Wren sang in the thickbrush and grass.  We finally found one out in the open.

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I was thrilled to get a few shots of a Verdin.  Looks like he stuck his face into the acacia blossoms,  He flits about so fast it’s hard to get stop action.  Can you see the little red mark on the front of his wing?

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Another fast mover is the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher.  There he goes!

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A Say’s Phoebe was flycatching from a telephone wire.

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On our way out one of the men who works there and knows lots about birds showed us a hummingbird nest (he doesn’t usually show anyone).  It was Anna’s and there were 2 young just fledging (learning to fly).  There is one young one sitting out on a limb and the other still in the nest.  Theiy are born a day apart, so one is always more advanced.  The parents still feed them because their bills are not full-length yet.

All-in-all a great stop here in Vegas!  Now to Brigham City.

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