Sunday, July 2, 2017

Adventure in Birding Molino Basin Campground - Surprise

This morning Christine and I birded Molino Canyon Campground which is five miles up Mount Lemmon. 

While not abundantly birdie (the temperature was in the 90's) we did find a family of Canyon Towhees. Photographing birds is sometimes a challenge and you are never absolutely sure of a photo until you upload it into the computer. Occasionally, I'll get a good photo of a bird I couldn't really identify when I saw it (moving too fast and gone in a flash).

And, occasionally there will be something else in the photo I didn't see at all. Such is the case this morning with the Canyon Towhees. If you look closely you'll see something else:

Canyon Towhee
 Since I didn't see it while I was there, I zoomed in with my computer to get this:

Lined Coachwhip
Even when I saw the snake in the photo I didn't see his face immediately. It was only after a couple of minutes that I saw him looking directly at me.

Looking still closer it occurs to me that there might be something else (more sinister) going on. There were several birds in this particular tree. The male and female Canyon Towhees were moving around in the tree quite rapidly which was not their usual behavior. And no matter how close I got to the tree they never left the tree during the 10 minutes I was watching.

As I look more closely at the second photo it seems possible that the snake is actually sitting in a nest.  Is it the Canyon Towhee's nest? Did the snake eat a Canyon Towhee chick or egg. May never know but it certainly seems possible.

Lot's of fun today!!

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