I had a chance to do a little bird photography during a resent business trip in Las Vegas. I spent a late afternoon at Mt. Charleston and the next morning at the Henderson Bird Viewing Reserve.
I left downtown Las Vegas on Thursday, July 17th at 4:00pm heading towards Mt. Charleston. The temperature was around 105 F (about 5 degrees cooler than the day before)!! When I started the assent of Mt. Charleston some 30 minutes later, the temperature dropped gradually and reached 65F at the top. One of the first stops was successful as I photographed what I thought was a Western Bluebird but turned out to be a Lazuli Bunting a new bird for me. That was followed by a few more new birds including Band-tailed Pigeon, Black-headed Grosbeak, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher and a number of humming birds of which I have only been able to ID Anna’s and Rufous. Heading back towards Las Vegas and as the sun was setting, I noticed two Lesser Nighthawks hunting near the road. I was able to pull off and take a few shots of one of them and add one more to my total.
Next morning I arrived at the Henderson Bird Viewing Reserve at 6:30am in hopes to get in as much birding as I could before it got too hot. There is hardly any shade at the reserve (part of waste treatment facility) so walking around with heavy photo equipment after 10:00am is not a good idea. It was a cool 92 F at 6:30 and it was a hot 98 F when I left. In between I managed to photograph new species (Long-billed Dowitcher, Clark’s Grebe, White-faced Ibis, Verdin, Black-chinned Hummingbird) as well as some good photos of Eared Grebe and Ruddy Ducks.
All in all a very good harvest of new species .