Wednesday 18 April 2012

Las Vegas birding

Trying to compare the Grand Canyon to our next destination, Las Vegas, was like comparing chalk and cheese. I was blown away by the Grand Canyon, yet, if I'm honest I couldn't wait to move on from Las Vegas. It wasn't my cup of tea at all. The only birds of note (other than the ladies of the night!) was a pair of Northern Mockingbirds. I suppose I am glad to say I have been to Vegas but I doubt I'll be going back. That said, at the time I hoped I was there just 5 days after we left as my all time favourite band, Madness, we playing a one night gig, in the hotel we were staying in!
Anyway, we set off early to spend the day travelling through Death Valley to arrive at Bishop, for an overnight stop before what we thought would be a short hop to Yosemite National Park, the following day. On the outskirts of Las Vegas we stopped at a gas station, and while filling up I noticed at the adjacent truck stop I noticed a truck driver throwing bread to birds on nearby wasteland. After filling up we went to investigate. Fully expecting to find a load of feral pigeons, I was pleasantly surprised to find these.......

Gambel's Quail

There were about 20+ individuals present
Mourning Dove - surprisingly few of these seen all trip
Ok folks, I need some help here. Mixed in with much larger White Crowned Sparrows, were a number of these smaller birds. I am thinking they are Brewer's Sparrows, but am very happy to be corrected if I am wrong. Unfortunately, they always remained distant not allowing better shots.

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