|One of many Vermillion Flycatchers that appeared in the San Pedro Riparian NCA, AZ; 4/10/2012.|
"Oh, Great!" I thought, "Dogs and birding do not mix." My opinion was that dogs and their rambunctiousness and excitement to be out on the trail tend to scare birds away faster than even humans. The man said to me,
"I've been hearing lots of Vermillion Flycatchers singing, but I havn't been able to spot one yet." He was eying my 150-500mm Sigma lens attached to my Canon Rebel T1i dangling from my chest harness, and said, "I hope you find one for a photo. They sure are beautiful." We conversed for a few minutes about birds and the weather. He was bundled up in a winter-type coat with a knit cap and hood pulled over his head, and complained about being cold and hoped that it would warm up soon. I was in a short-sleeved shirt and shorts. It was over 60 degrees and the sun was rising over the large Cottonwoods and getting warmer. To me, it was a gorgeous day. Anyway, throughout our entire conversation, his dog sat patiently and quietly next to him - not rambunctious, not scaring any birds. I thought I might have to rethink my dogs vs. birding philosophy. We parted ways, and I followed the trail down the bank and I followed the river. Birds were singing. The sun was shining. I was in a great mood and started my early morning birding trek. The man was right about Vermillion Flycatchers. It sure didn't take me long to spot one. It was across the river, a bright red spot against the gray-green drab cottonwood foliage. I snapped a few pics that I knew wouldn't be any good, since it was at a "not quite good enough for pic" distance. Soon I saw another one at closer range - a few more pics. Then another one, and another one. Each one in a better position for a decent photo than the last. Throughout my 3-hour hike, I would guess I observed at least a dozen male Vermillions (Above), and probably another dozen females (Below).
|A female Vermillion Flycatcher, San Pedro Riparian NCA, AZ; 4/10/2012.|
|Another male Vermillion Flycatcher, San Pedro Riparian NCA, AZ; 4/10/2012.|
|Another female Vermillion Flycatcher, San Pedro Riparian NCA, AZ; 4/10/2012.|
|... and another ... same place.|
Don't you just love these guys? To quote the man with the big dog, "They sure are beautiful."