Join our zoo community

jbnbsn99 and ituri go to Arizona

Discussion in 'United States' started by jbnbsn99, 23 Nov 2013.

  1. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    When in the course of human events the time must come to set out on a dark and stormy night (or in this case, before the butt-crack of dawn), and get out on the road (or in this case the air) to visit a horizon new and unexplored (well, unexplored by myself. Others have explore there, I'm sure. In fact one time... Sorry I seem to have wondered. By the way, I opened the parentheses in the middle of a sentence and haven't closed them yet. Am I breaking a rule of grammar?).

    Anywho...

    Yeah, so I'm leaving. On a jet place. Don't know when I'll be back again.

    I'll be back Wednesday night. Who am I kidding.

    So here is the gist of the idea. I (jbnbsn99, in case you've forgotten...) am meeting up with my friend ituri tomorrow in Phoenix. We will be hitting the bird watching hard and heavy. We're hoping to score some most excellent avian fauna. I'm looking for around 50 species. Ituri is hoping that I don't kill him. Seems a fair deal to me.

    Along the way, we're planning on hitting the three major zoos in Arizona (Phoenix, Reid Park, and the famous Arizona Sonora Desert Museum).

    Updates to follow...

    (and possibly more parenthetical statements...)

    (and poor allusions to literary works...)

    (and ellipses...)
     
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Any chance you will be hitting Reid Park on Tuesday? That is the day I am there volunteering. (This week is my turn to do the information booth, so I will be stuck in there most of the day). If you guys are spending a night in Tucson let me know so we can do dinner.
     
  3. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    As a matter of fact, that is our plan. Reid Park on Tuesday morning. We're staying in Tucson on Monday night, but I'm not sure how late we'll get in.
     
  4. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    So, my first update. I'm sitting in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at the moment. My flight was supposed to have left 10 minutes ago. Nothing happening...
    Schedule is tight today. Let's see what happens.
     
  5. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    The Dall Sheep and the Bond Villain

    My flight finally left about 40 minutes late. As I had a 35 minute layover, I'm pretty much screwed.

    Boarding the plane, I am greeted by two curious figures. One is a poster of "Dale the Dall Sheep." Dale is evidently the mascot of this particular plane. It's always good to be greeted by an odd ungulate.

    My second greeter is one of the flight attendants. His countenance is striking. He's either a Romanian count or an evil James Bond villain. I'm not sure which. Oh, and I mean James Bond ala Sean Connery not James Bond Birds of the Caribbean. He really could be an agent of Blofeld. Or Blofeld himself. The flight's still young. We shall see...

    The view from up here is stunning. A vast blanket of white covers the planet. In a little while, I shall be seeing my first mountains since 1999. Such is the life in Texas.

    All the while, from my godly, airborne perch, I have been doing my best to study new birds that I hope to see. This is really like Pokemon for adults.

    As I descend into Denver, I see snow on the ground, small meandering streams, and the first hints of the Rockies. Everything is new, and the first leg is nearly over.
     
  6. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    5 minutes. 5 whole ^%#$**$ minutes.

    I get to the terminal and my next plane is there waiting. The door is locked, and there are no attendants. I stand and watch as my plane pulls away. I'm now stuck at the airport for 5 hours. I can't get out and bird watch or go to the zoo, because the airport is 2 hours by train/bus from everything.

    I might just go find a plug and watch Dr. Who.
     
  7. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Sorry to hear about the plane. Same kind of thing happened to me on the way home from Cincinnati. Plane left late and we got to the airport in North Carolina (because it makes perfect sense to fly from Ohio to NC to NY!) just as the final call for the plane was made. Didn't get home until the next day.

    Hopefully your trip will take a Chlidonias-like turn and get better after a shaky start.

    Enjoy Doctor Who in the meantime!

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  8. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,408
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Meanwhile, Ituri's traveling by land. It has been smooth sailing save for a couple minor issues one of which involved jumper cables.

    First great wildlife occurred at a rest stop at the Utah/Idaho border. This rest stop lies in a long strip of juniper habitat winding through the surrounding sagebrush. As I was getting out of the car I was buzzed by a western scrub-jay, an Idaho first for me. I wandered around further and turned up numerous dark-eyed juncos (Oregon race) as well as a juniper titmouse (lifer!).

    Oh and then today there was this
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2013
  9. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, ituri is already beaten me.
     
  10. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    Also, I'm still stuck at the airport. My 35 minute layover turned into 6 hours. Thanks for free wi-fi.
     
  11. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    Beef jerky, turrets, and Carl the Coyote.

    Six hours later (as opposed to the planned 35 minutes), I took to the air again. Gone was the lovable Dale the Dall's Sheep. Now I had to contend with Carl the Coyote. Carl isn't as classy as Dale and doesn't know how to treat a lady. Nonetheless, (and have you ever wondered why that's all one word?) Carl made do.

    Before I had a lovely window seat. Now, I'm cramped in the middle. Ah heck no. Jbnbsn99 is a big dude. This ain't right

    To my left is a useless wast of carbon who has an e-reader, and insists on having the reading light on and the window closed. To top it all off, he smells like he bathed in bad beef jerky. Peppery...

    To my right is an old lady with a severe case of the turrets. I don't mean this in a condescending way, but an actual, honest-to-god diagnosable turrets. I haven't heard any fun words yet, but it's only a matter of time.

    I've missed my window for doing anything today. The only reason I took a 6:30 flight was to make sure I could go to the Phoenix zoo and get some birds there before ituri arrived. As it sits now, I may not be able to see the Phoenix Zoo at all. I'm not a happy camper. Luckily, all the birds it would have gotten there will be gettable in other planned locations. Tomorrow (Monday) is the big birding day.
     
  12. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I hope you packed some warm clothes. It was like in the 80's (Farenheit) until two days ago when a major winter storm rolled through. The rain is now gone, but as I type this at 5:30pm Arizona the sun has just gone down and the temperature is plummeting. (Of course I am a skinny desert lover who finds anything below 70 uncomfortable and anything below 60 intolerable, so take the source into account. Most Tucsonans I think actually find this refreshing.)

    Since I do not own a cell phone, I will PM both of you with my work phone number for Monday and my home phone for the evening. What part of town are you staying in? I am basically downtown. Also, anything in particular you want to see at Reid Park?
     
  13. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Baby! This time of year you can find me in a t-shirt and shots when it's 60!:p

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  14. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    971
    Location:
    Schwerzenbach, ZH, Switze
    @jbnbsn99: I know you have other things to do at the moment. But when you have a couple of minutes left, please check the Fort-Worth-Zoo-Thread. I have some question about animals that has been kept there that obviously only you can answer...;)
    Thank you very much in advance and have a nice and safe trip.
     
  15. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Clearly the cold does not affect all people alike, as I discovered when I met the visiting trio for dinner tonight. In case you are wondering, the third part of the trio is a friend of Ituri's from Phoenix who was encouraged to join them, although it is not entirely clear whether he did it willingly or under coersion. Anyway, I am standing in front of El Charro in downtown Tucson wearing an activewear sweatshirt, a down vest and a knit cap. Up walks Jbnbsn99 in a short sleeve shirt (and he is not even shivering). The other two are dressed somewhere in between our two extremes.

    In case it ever helps you win a trivia game, El Charro claims to be the inventor of the chimichanga. This may be true, although it is one of a couple theories as expounded on wackypeeeedia [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimichanga]Chimichanga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] . Ironically, I have never had a chimichanga in my life (I see no reason to ruin a perfectly good burrito by dropping it in a vat of hot lard). My fish soft tacos were delicious btw and Jbnbsn was pleased to find someplace that serves authentic mole'. Here is wakypeeeedia again for those not familiar with that particular sauce [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_sauce]Mole sauce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] . I only tried a small taste once several years ago, also at El Charro, when another out of town visitor was excited to find it. Chocolate and chilis - not my cup of tea shall we say.

    In any case, tomorrow we will all convene at the beloved Reid Park Zoo for a day that I presume will be more relaxing for the trio than their pre-dawn to post-dusk birdwatching journey they described to me today. There are threats of another dawn rise to visit Sabino Canyon Sabino Canyon Tours at Sabino Canyon, Tucson, Arizona before the zoo, but judging by their exhaustion at dinner, I doubt that will happen. I am not affected either way because I will be in my own comfy bed and will enjoy a home cooked breakfast and a leisurely two mile bike ride to the zoo. However, ungulate fan Jbnbsn99 and has never seen a mule deer in the wild and I had to open my big mouth and say you can see them all the time at Sabino Canyon. I guess I will judge by the redness of their eyes in the morning whether or not they had the sense to stay in bed.
     
  16. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    It is now the following evening. I believe they settled on a later start and birdwatching in the surrounding Reid Park. They arrived at the zoo entrance around 9:40 (zoo opens at 9). One of their pre-zoo targets was some kind of Eurasian duck that is apparently extremely rare in these parts and has settled in a treatment pond on the edge of the park (behind the golf course). Since the pond is on the bike path, out of curiosity I rode over there after the trio departed from the zoo. I saw several small specks of ducks that all look alike to me. But a birdwatcher with binoculars finally helped me distinguish this rare speck from the other more common specks. I suspect Jbnbsn99 or Ituri may have a photo to post (I did not have a long telephoto lens with me).
     
  17. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,382
    Location:
    Texas
    It's after 12:30, and I'm just not settling down for the night. I'll update more later. Tired now.
     
  18. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,408
    Location:
    Phoenix
    It is not, it's only 11:30 where you are.
     
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,469
    Location:
    not travelling
    I wanna know what this rare duck is!!!!!!
     
  20. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,408
    Location:
    Phoenix
    You'll have to wait!

    But just a slight correction. It wasn't a Eurasian species, it was a vagrant from the coast.