Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cool Things at Tohono Chul Park the third week in August

The weather has been extremely humid and hot, but I’ve seen a number of really wonderful things at the Park during my last few visits. Every bird walk has resulted in at least one beautiful and sometimes unexpected bird. For example, a couple of days ago a visitor and I saw and heard a gorgeous curve-billed thrasher. She was new to birding, and was thrilled to see a bird she’d only heard about. On that same visit, we saw a huge gopher snake near the Desert Living Courtyard.
Gopher snake Tohono Chul Park 9-10-2010 8-13-50 AM 2792x842 9-10-2010 8-13-50 AM 2792x842  It was curlicued alongside the path, with its head just resting at the edge of a large rodent hole. It was so quiet at first I thought it might have been dead, but then I saw its tongue flick, as it smelled its breakfast-to-be.
On the way out of the Park, we saw a Greater Earless Lizard, the first I have seen in the Park. It was near the Overlook, and at first I thought it was just a large zebratail. It has actually lost its tail. Except for being tailless, it looks quite a bit like this beauty I photographed at Catalina State Park: Greater Earless Lizard 5-10-2011 9-49-53 AM 1216x891 The lizard at TCP is much brighter yellow. Quite a good-looking reptile. And speaking of yellow, on our bird walk Monday, my colleague Marcia and I saw a mystery flycatcher. I think it was a brown-crested, because of the size of its bill and the very yellow appearance of its belly, but it might have been an ash-throated. Those guys drive me crazy. Take a look. What do YOU think?
Possible brown-crested flycatcher 6-24-2010 8-55-32 AM 786x788


  1. One of these days I will join you. This is a trying time, I have to make do with the wildlife in my mother's back yard. And they are pretty wild, I will admit.

  2. Cool photos, as usual. I'm amazed at the variety of wildlife there at the Park!

  3. nice to see desert and the sandhills. so that is where they go when it gets too cold up here. love thier calls. amazing. thanks for a view of relative warmth! betsy in alaska