First leg of trip - home to S. California
Campsite at the Salton Sea.
Black-necked Grebe in dull winter plumage.
American Avocet. They get toasty brown in summer.
Some of the marshes at Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge on the Salton Sea.
Lesser Flamingos - these are not native to the area, and so are likely escapees.
The elegant Gambel's Quail, the quail of the Southwest.
A female Gambel's Quail
Heerman's Gull, a life bird for us.
The diversity of waterbirds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea is remarkable.
A Lesser Yellowlegs - told from the Greater by the bill length and head shape.
American Golden Plover
Now on to Anza-Borrego State Park. Our camp is barely visible, left of center.
Cactus gardens, Anza-Borrego SP
Our camp in Anza-Borrego SP.
Desert Bighorn ewe
Desert Bighorn lamb
Desert Bighorn Ram
Banded Rock Lizard
Below a Spring in Borrego Palms Canyon
Ocotillo in bloom, Borrego Palms Canyon
Common Side-blotched Lizard on granite.
A Cactus Wren preparing to burst into song.
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher. This bird weighs 1.8oz (5gm). A U.S. quarter (25 cents) weighs 6gm.
On to Arizona, and Gilbert Ray campground, one of our favorites.
Our first Crissal Thrasher, a rare bird that we went well out of our planned route to find.
Le Conte's Thrasher, another life bird at a special spot west of Phoenix.
Photographing anything that moved on a cold morning, east of Phoenix.
Gilbert Ray Campground can be seen below. Sunset from Brown Mtn.
Atop Brown Mtn west of Tucson. An iPhone photo.
Hiking in Saguaro National Park
Our final stop in AZ was Whitewater Draw.
Sandhill Cranes come to Whitewater Draw by the thousands in winter.
Say's Phoebe, a common flycatcher in the desert.
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Female)
A male Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Across S. New Mexico, a brief stop at Pancho Villa State Park.
We found Lark Buntings at Pancho Villa State Park. A life bird.
White-winged Dove - very common in these deserts.
Our camp at Pancho Villa
Sunset on Pancho Villa SP
Now into Texas; our first visit to Davis Mtns. SP
Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Davis Mtns. SP, Texas.
Acorn Woodpecker, Davis Mtns.
Mule deer, Davis Mtns.
On a bike ride up to the MacDonald Astronomical Observatory (in distance)
Northern Cardinal, Davis Mtns.
The elusive Montezuma Quail, one of the main reasons for our visit to the Davis Mtns. We spent 20 hours over 4 days waiting to photograph it.
Camp at Davis Mtns. SP
The campground, Davis Mtns. SP, Texas.
On a hike, Davis Mtns.
Davis Mtns. SP, Texas.
A perennial favorite, Big Bend NP.
Rio Grande Village, Big Bend.
Our camp at Big Bend. We were driven out by 90F+ temperatures on the 2nd of March.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Big Bend
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (F)
The friendliest Pyrrhuloxia I've ever encountered.
The village in Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP
The restaurant at the Visitors' Center, Chisos Basin.
Panorama of Chisos Basin.
In the Chisos Mtns.
Greater Roadrunner with beetle.
Brown Creeper. The bird is upside down, not the photo.
Near Rio Grande Village, Big Bend NP, Texas.
Western Screech Owl, Big Bend. I had to take this in total darkness.
How can there be too many Roadrunner photos?
El Río Grande. Texas on the left, México on the right.
Starting back home, we went through our former home state.
In the Albuquerque area, we joined friends for a hike at Tent Rocks National Monument
Tent Rocks. We lived for 20 years within an hour of this place, but never visited.
Tent Rocks, NM
Nearing the top of the trail.
Into Colorado to explore the area around Grand Junction.
Grand Junction, Colorado.
Riding up to the Colorado Nat'l Monument above Grand Junction. (iPhone photo)
An all-day float on the Colorado River through Grand Junction.
Hiking in Colorado National Monument above Grand Junction.
Completing the loop - Arrive home March 19.