Solitaire Townsend's Solitaire



On 03-06-06


Wanting to get out of the extremely dry and polluted air of the Phoenix area
I headed north toward the Grand Canyon's South Rim and the COCONINO PLATEAU.

I don't know which is worse, the polluted Phoenix air; or all of the tourist at the South Rim of the Canyon :-)).

Therefore on this trip I decided to spend time driving the dirt roads in the forest just south of the
Canyon's South Rim and just South of Tusayan a few miles off State route 64 and then West on road 306.

I was told to check out the TANKS. HUMM, tanks,
I started looking for metal tanks with water in them. I didn't know if they
meant big tall round metal tanks or low open top tanks with water in them.

Much to my surprise neither of the above tanks were correct.
I soon found out that a tank up here is no more than a big scraped out hole in the ground
to hold run-off water from the rains and snow melt.
I guess a tank could be anything that held something, thus qualifying a large
depression in the ground no matter how it got there as a TANK.

Many of the tanks were dry, parched, cracked dirt, and no water.
This also meant no wild life would be coming to drink so I kept on driving.
Some of the tanks were numbered and some named as you will see.

After several hours of being driven around with by my friend Don we came across this tank
with a smidgen of damp mud in the bottom of the hole, well, maybe just a bit more than a smidgen.

Inasmuch as there was no water any where else we started to see birds immediately coming in to drink.
Get out those cameras and let's start taking photos I said as I jumped out of Don's vehicle almost before it had stopped.

Inasmuch as there no water any where else we started to see birds immediately coming in to drink.

And this is what it called


They didn't even wait for us to get our cameras set up before flying in and perching to drink,
I don't think they even knew we were there.

What is this we said, it's sure a pretty gray bird I said, and then Don said it must a Townsend's Solitaire.


We no more got that out of our mouths and another flew in.

WOW, this tree limb is really going to be the place to watch for the birds.


And then it happened. They came from everywhere to perch and drink.

OH, I see a yellow bill in there, and that isn't a Townsend.

Do you see the two birds in flight?


Like to see a closer view?

Looks like 11 Townsends, 1 Robin, and a Crossbill.


Yep, just as I thought, the Robins came in to drink too.

Let's have a little closer look at this one too, OK?

Remember this is a AF 400 mm VR lens with a 1.4 tele converter on, using a Nikon D70s
I would guesstimate I was approximately 50 feet from that limb in the water.

Now you can see the Crossbill just under the bird fying.


They were comin & goin like bees at a hive, and it was hard to find a place to be alone in order to drink.


Yes, this is going to be a long show and if you want to continue
please click HERE.

I have listed the pages separately in case you don't want to have
to go through the whole article one page at a time just to see what's on the site.

Page. 1a. Elk - Page 1b Grand Canyon Deer - Page 2. Butterfly, Mountain Chickadee, Unknown Hawk -

Page 3. Plain Titmouse & Pygmy Nuthatch - Page 4. Tiger Salamander - Page 5. Grand Canyon Big Horns - Page 6. Red Crossbills -

Page 7. Red-shafted Northern Flickers - Page 8. Aberts Squirrels - Page 9. Pinyon Jays - Page 10. Stellers Jays -

Page 11. Dark-eyed Juncos Oregon race. - Page 12 Hairy Woodpecker