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February 4th, 2010
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Miller Canyon

I joined Denise and Dick Filby once more as we tried to find a Spotted Owl. We couldn’t get into Fort Huachuca as they still don’t allow non-US citizens unless accompanied by a guide with military ID, so we tried our luck in Miller Canyon instead. It wasn’t until we prepared to make our hike that I realized I hadn’t brought my camera – I transfered my kit from my car to Dick’s rental at first light when I was, shall we say, a little bleary-eyed (OK, I was still asleep). I must have seen Dick’s essentially identical camera and lens in the back of his car and thought I’d packed mine. So, no photos for me. Never mind.

Birding was tough all day. Spotted Owls aren’t easy to find in winter and, try as we might, we couldn’t locate any. We hiked for miles, way up into the snow, but our reward was just a couple of Townsend’s Solitaires, a few Bushtits, Canyon Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Yellow-eyed Juncos, and that was about it.

We arrived back in Tucson and stopped at Sweetwater Wetlands for about ten minutes just before dusk. We saw more birds (individuals and species) in this period than the rest of the day put together! Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes…

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