Day 33 – Night birds and rare fish

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Burrowing Owl, first seen at Floyd Lamb State Park, this one was at Ash Meadows. Our sixth species of owl, if you count the dead Barn Owl on the road in Texas that is

An excellent days birding. We left our Las Vegas resort apartment for the last time and headed for Floyd Lamb State Park, on the edge of the city. Armed with some recent intel from Carol & Ken, we were looking for Burrowing Owl. We entered the stoney desert enclosure, opposite the pay booth, and quickly encountered our first ‘night birds’ – actually several Lesser Nighthawk, flying around us and obligingly perched-up close-by. Then Jane spotted the first of several Burrowing Owl, on the distant sand cliff. We eventually saw at least three and came across them later at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Next we made a return visit to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge where the birding was as good, if not better, than our previous visit. Here we added Sagebrush Sparrow, on the approach road, and then, in or around the orchard, Evening Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak and an out of range Northern Parula. The afternoon was spent at the desert oasis reserve of Ash Meadows. The most interesting wildlife here were not birds, although we did see Wilson’s Phalarope and Snowy Plover, but Desert Longhorns – a sort of mountain sheep and a critically endangered fish – the Armagosa Pupfish, which can only be found in a few desert spring ponds on the Ash Meadows reserve – no where else in the world! They can survive in less than an inch of water, at temperatures over 90 degrees.

Also seen at Floyd Lamb and again around our Armagosa Valley casino accommodation in the desert, Lesser Nighthawk

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Ash Meadows is home to some critically endangered fish – Armagosa Pupfish. This is my pitiful attempt to photograph them in their desert spring pond home!

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I had more success photographing the pond

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Desert Longhorns, near-by

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This entry was posted in Birding.

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