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Jake Mohlmann reports on the recent Arizona & Utah tour:

September 18: Jake Mohlmann reports on the recent Arizona & Utah tour:

We just finished covering 1,986 miles through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. 193 species of birds were encountered over 13 days filled with perfect weather, endless landscapes, and a big sky easy to get lost in.

Our group in the unreal Antelope Canyon.


The Grand Canyon was an endless maze of gorges all combined to create a spectacle that has to be seen to believe. Our sunrise here was unforgettable.

The sun creeps up Grand Canyon’s walls at sunrise.


One of the highlights of the trip was getting to witness 4 wild California Condors fly through Marble Canyon just under our feet. While overlooking the Colorado River condor L4 was directly below. The peregrine fund states she was hatched in the wild on May 27th, 2011.

12 year old condor L4 was very close.


Canyon Wrens are an emblematic species for this rugged terrain. Deep canyons allow their song to echo down below, and we were lucky enough to experience them multiple days. One particularly confiding bird was posted up on top of the entrance of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Canyon Wren overlooking its domain.


Zion National Park protects an amazing diversity of habitats across southern Utah. Not only was Zion Canyon breathtakingly beautiful, but also provided a very close encounter with a bird that calls these areas home. On the rocky banks of the Virgin River we had an American Dipper comfortable enough to approach us to within a few feet. We couldn’t believe our luck as we got to watch it hunt for, catch, and consume a tadpole.

American Dipper hunted for food within feet.


At Canyon de Chelly the soaked skies wrung out in a deluge of rain. So much rain fell that various waterfalls began forming, and pouring down from the towering 1,000 foot cliffs to the valley bottom below. The timing has to be just right to witness something like this so we all felt lucky to have seen this spectacle.

Waterfalls toppled over the Canyon de Chelly cliffs.


Monument Valley is world famous and the setting for countless western movies. This year the conditions were perfect for seeing the west mitten cast its shadow across the face of the east mitten. A great way to end our day!

The mittens of Monument Valley at sunset.

Posted: September 18, 2023