I’ve not been able to keep up with my reports from this trip due to the hectic pace I’ve had to keep this past week. I plan to get caught up in the next few days.
I first visited Bicknell Bottoms in the Spring of 2015. I so enjoyed the time I spent in the boggy wetlands I promised myself a return visit someday. When my friend Jerry from Albuquerque called me this February and conned me into joining him on an eclipse safari, I saw my opportunity and left San Diego early enough to allow a few bird stops along the way; the Bottoms being one of them.
My first stop at the Salton Sea was followed by a morning at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve (Nevada). As I’ve said before, I prefer to find any route other than freeways, but riding the concrete slab called the I-15 was unavoidable on this day. I must admit though, the few miles leading through the slot in the mountains cut by the Virgin River is pretty cool. As soon as I reached the exit leading to Zion National Park I rolled away from the freeway and joined the crowds heading into the park. I feel about crowds like I do about freeways, so I passed non-stop through the east gate, taking several snapshots with my phone as safely as I could through the van’s windows. (See these images on a prior post.)
My energy failed me when I reached Panguitch Utah. I found this small town delightful and was pleased to find a rest stop at the north edge of town. Early the next morning I pushed on and by 8:30am I found a cafe in Bicknell and got myself fed before starting my hunt for local birds. My springtime visit of 2015 yielded better birds, but it was still an enjoyable half day in a beautiful place. The only disappointment was several stops to examine sparrows revealed how well the African weaver finches are doing in the valley (okay, House Sparrows!).
Birds that gave themselves to me were Barn Swallow, Canada Goose, Common Yellow-Throat, House Sparrow, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, and Virginia Rail (heard).