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




The females are sort of grayish with a slight olive tint to them.

However this being winter the red males are not not bright red as usual.


On the far edge of this water hole a bird flew in that I thought was a Black-headed Grosbeak.

However upon a closer look I found it to be a Red Crossbill and just then a whole flock of them flew in.


Now at first glance this does seem as though it might be a Black-headed Grosbeak don't you think?

However the Grosbeak does not have a black line through its eye.


Now we can see that it really is a Cross-bill.




About now a few more came flying in to that log in the muddy water area.

As you can see there are 2 Townsend's Solitaire and an American Robin in the photo.


In these 2 photos you can really see the crossed bill.




Note the under tail feathers on the left bird. Not all of the birds had this coloring.
On the right and behind the log is a female.




Here we have 2 females


Hear is a good illustration of why I always keep my shutter on continuous espousers

This image is #5 of 9 I took about the time I thought the bird was going to take off.


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 1. Townsend's Solitaire - Page 2. Butterfly, Mountain Chickadee, Unknown Hawk -

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

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