Sunday, July 26, 2020

Two of the Blue Favorites in One Day! A Lazuli Bunting and a Blue Grosbeak on the Tuolumne River

Ever since spring, and really for two years now I've been waiting to catch sight of a Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail that I walk most days. I saw a plain-colored female a few months back, but I never saw a male in all of 2019.

It's nice to have good friends in any case, but it's great to have friends who also love birds and live in a place where they can clue you in to new sightings. Jeanne lives near the trail, and has had a bunch of birds singing in her trees of late, and she sighted the Lazuli Bunting AND a Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea). These quite literally the holy grails of my trail travels (well, okay, along with Hooded Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Phainopeplas, and a few others). But I don't think I've seen both of the blues on the same day before. I went over and we found the Bunting and heard the Grosbeak, but none was being photogenic.
I tried again this morning, and the first bird I saw was the Blue Grosbeak in an oak north of the trailhead parking lot. It was too far for good pictures, but I can't complain because just moments later I saw a small bird perched in the sun, and there it was. The first opportunity for a good photo of a Lazuli Bunting on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail (well, trailhead anyway).
I was actually beginning to feel like there hadn't been much happening for a couple of weeks on my birdhunts, seeing the "common" species for the most part, and not much that was new. I've been cured of that in the last few days.

The bunting stayed put long enough to provide us with a little concert (if you turn up the sound). It's a pretty song.