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Natural Bridges National Monument

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Monday, July 8, 2013 

Carl Ingwell and I did some birding and hiking around Natural Bridges National Monument July 5th-7th. This is a great area of Utah to explore and I highly recommend you finding your way down there.   The desert canyon washes and the pinyon/juniper habitats make for some great birding. The beauty and power of the entire region is spectacular. Below are some photos/videos of my personal highlights of the weekend (including an audio quiz) followed by a sad story about a Black Bear that had been hit by a car.

Violet-green Swallows were the only swallow we saw and they were everywhere

This was too high on the wall for me to get to and see if it was actually my ancient hand print...

Nice views all around 

Petroglyphs were on lots of the canyon walls. I have never seen so many

Cassin's Kingbirds were around but not too abundant; this is the only one we saw

Spotted Towhees were everywhere in the canyons

You could have a great yard list if you lived here

The Hite Overlook in the Lake Powell area

Storms were in the area all weekend and I recorded the below video of a flash flood coming down the wash of a canyon. It was pretty intense and I can see why they warn you about how fast they can come.

We had the pleasure of running across a group of these birds being very vocal in a canyon. Can you guess what they are? Put guesses in the comments and I'll reveal with a video that shows one of the birds in a few days. 

See the above video of a Peregrine Falcon - as Keeli guessed

The whole weekend felt a bit surreal. Some of it was the desert heat and being around Native American ruins and thinking about the way that they lived. But I think both Carl and I were pretty affected Saturday morning by seeing a Black Bear that had been hit by a car. The bear was wearing a thick radio collar and we came upon it shortly before a ranger pulled up and made a call to report it as we stood there looking at it, sort of stunned. Later in the day, when we drove back to the same area, the bear had been moved, leaving an unfortunate trail of its history on the pavement. There were also several vehicles parked on the side of the road including a woman with an animal carrier, a DWR official, and some BLM employees. We asked what was going on and were told they were looking for a cub that had been unfortunately orphaned. They didn't seem to want to talk too much with us so we weren't able to get many more details but later on, they were gone, so we hope the cub was found and taken to be cared for somewhere. I have never seen a bear in the wild before so this was an unfortunate and sad first encounter. I did snap a picture of the deceased bear and for those interested in seeing it, you can click on the link: HERE. This is kind of morbid, but I personally look at it and think how awesome this animal must've been in life, living in the desert and rearing a cub. It reminds me how much is going on out there that we don't often see.

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Blogger Keeli said...

Peregrine falcons calling? Bummer about the bear.

July 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM  

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