September 2, 2020 Rucker Canyon

We spent the entire day focused on finding and photographing the eared quetzals. Located in Rucker Canyon, it was a long drive, much of it on dirt roads (though mostly okay for sedans). In some ways it was a disappointing day. I didn't get to see the eared quetzal. On this day, the pair chose to fly almost 3 miles up the canyon when most days they were between the half mile and 2 mile mark. While the trail wasn't difficult per se, it was very time consuming as much of it involved walking over large creek beds full of rocks as well as climbing under and over fallen trees.

We spent the morning walking back and forth on the trail hoping to find it. We heard it was up the trail but everyone in the know said that the quetzals almost always come back down. Today they didn't. Chris made it up but I lagged behind. As it was, he only got a few shots before they disappeared.

Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time photographing insects, flowers and those birds I could get reasonably close to. From a photographic perspective the day was pretty disappointing for me. I got photos of several new species but very few of them are good and some are downright terrible!

Highlights species-wise for the day included: scaled quail, a zone tailed hawk on the ground with prey, mojave rattlesnake and a bobcat. We got photos of all of them except the bobcat that came out of nowhere and was running quickly. All the above species were found on the road going to or coming from Rucker Canyon.

In addition, we found a black-tailed rattlesnake and a couple of cool insects I've posted here: a grasshopper that I believe is a Montezuma's grasshopper (still waiting for confirmation) and a two-spotted forester moth (I think I read once that southeast Arizona is home to 70% of all moth species in the U.S.) I can't locate that info but nonetheless, Arizona does have a lot of moths!

Regardless, it is always a good day when you get to spend it on the trail and Rucker Canyon was certainly a species-rich and great place to explore.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, September 13, 2020 00:04

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 07:52 AM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon Road

Photos / Sounds

What

Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 08:09 AM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon Road

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus ssp. molossus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 11:27 AM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon

Photos / Sounds

What

Montezuma's Grasshopper (Syrbula montezuma)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 01:36 PM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon
Cool grasshopper--looks dark for Montezuma's but not sure what else it might be

Photos / Sounds

What

Two-spotted Forester (Alypiodes bimaculata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 04:38 PM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon

Photos / Sounds

What

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 2, 2020 06:31 PM PDT

Description

Rucker Canyon Road
I so wanted a better photo of this guy but just wasn't able to get it as he was moving and it was dark

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