The rare purple gallinule that I wrote about last week has not been seen for over a week now. It is hard to know what became of it-did it successfully migrate back to its more traditional range? Did it continue its off-course migration? Did it get eaten?

Granite Basin received a big storm last week when parts of Arizona and New Mexico received rain from the tropical depression that occurred off the Baja coast. Granite Basin received 2.44 inches of precipitation in a very short time frame – much of it in the form of hail. Perhaps this storm played a role in the disappearance of the gallinule.

The experience of seeing a new “life-bird” motivated me to get back on track with a goal I had set earlier this year-to consolidate all of my handwritten bird observation records into an electronic program known as eBird ( I logged into my neglected eBird account and documented my sighting of the gallinule at Granite Basin.

I am frequently asked by customers how many birds I have on my life list. Unfortunately, the honest answer is, “I don’t know.” This past week I have been going through records from 1973 and 1974. Once I have entered over 40 years’ worth of records I will finally know how many birds I have seen in my lifetime.

It’s interesting to see how much has changed since the 1970s. For example, I have records of seeing species that no longer exist in name, such as pigeon hawk, wieds crested flycatcher, beardless flycatcher, Coues flycatcher, brown throated wren, red-eyed cowbird, and rivolies hummingbird, because all of these birds have experienced a name change. If you have a bird book that is more than 20 years old, it would be a good idea to replace it with a more updated version that includes all of the changes in bird names.

The same could be said of an old pair of binoculars. Just this past weekend, a gal in the store said the binoculars she was using used to be her dad’s – they were at least 30 years old. Newer optics use advanced technology and enhanced optical equipment to ensure a better overall experience.

Here at the store we have several events coming up in the month of October as we celebrate our twelve-year anniversary. Here is a quick run-down of our fall seed sale/ anniversary month events-

First of all, our seventh annual wild bird photography contest exhibit opens today, Oct. 1, at both store locations. This is a free event, and I invite you to come and vote for your favorite pictures.

Also, Brant Tours (Birding Research and Nature Tours) out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will be presenting a free program on the birds of Belize at both Jay’s Bird Barn locations – on Friday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. in Sedona, and on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10 a.m. at the Prescott store. The presenter is a full-time wild bird guide and travels all over the world leading bird watching trips. The photography should be amazing – I hope you can join us.

Finally, on Friday, Oct. 30, in Sedona, and on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Prescott we will be hosting a free workshop presented by the National Sales Manager for Swarovski Optik. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about digiscoping – using digital camera equipment to take pictures through a spotting scope. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so call the store soon to sign up.

Until next week, Happy Birding!