Thursday, March 23, 2006

Blogless in Las Vegas

I got back a week ago from a 3-day trip to Las Vegas with my wife, and I've been delinquent in writing anything new here since. Part of it is because as you might expect it wasn't really a bird trip, and as you may have noticed I'm slavishly devoted to bird-only content here. Yes, we did go for a hike one day at Red Rock National Conservation Area, and I even got a few good pics while there. But there was plenty else going on in more urban settings, which was really the point of the trip.

I think the other reason I've not been writing is to save some 'birding' energy for the upcoming migration season. I want to make the most of this coming spring, and with a planner full of scheduled activities already, I expect that I'm going to be in the field a lot the next two months. So instead I've been distracting myself with other interests like watching movies and, oh yeah, doing my taxes (which are horrendous enough, and not very blogworthy). Not that that's an interest of mine...I guess that came out funny.

In any case, onto the wildlife.

The first critters we came across were actually a pair of Desert Cottontails. As I prepared to get a photo of one, it darted out of view but was conveniently replaced by its buddy, who ended up in the exact same pose and position as the first.

I also tallied my first hummingbird of the year, this Anna's Hummingbird which perched nicely on the top of a juniper.

The real birdwatching highlight for the whole trip came when I heard some rustling in the ravine below the Keystone Thrust trail. Following a dry rattle, this Greater Roadrunner emerged, enchanting both me and my wife. She likes birdwatching as much as I do, as long as the birds are big enough to be seen without the need for optics.

Lastly came this Western Scrub Jay, which I took as we were heading out of the park around noonish. It was perched on a yucca so close to the road I couldn't resist.

And lastly, not a bird, but rather a birds-eye view of Las Vegas at sunset, as seen from the top of the Stratosphere tower on the Strip:


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