Pre-game Jitters

28 December 2018 – Green Valley, Arizona

Just a couple of days before the end of planning and the commencement of intended early year race-for-rarities travels. Have done a tiny amount of birding here in the Tucson area, between a range of organisational stuff at banks, phone centres, and so on. This post is really just a trial run to see if I can manage it without the help of my home-base support team (that’s you Karen – thanks!).

One minute departing Sydney…

…and a mere 18 hours later – closing in on Tucson

Lots of nerves, fears and trepidations as anyone might imagine (not helped by the worst reception at LAX from US Customs I’ve yet experienced – it looked fairly ‘iffy’ at start of interview, but ended with desired one-year visa stamp)  – but also an undeniable sense of excitement about a year of explorations and discovery ahead.

So, without any birding content yet to speak of, here’s a quick peek at the project I’ve been absorbed with for the last few months – the just-opened (today) Komodo Dragon display at the Reptile Park. Let’s see if I can remember how Karen patiently taught me to upload content and photos.

Below: Young female Komodo Dragon with newly-bearded nervous guy. The Indonesian temple facade wasn’t quite finished, but the exhibit internals were ready for our fast-growing pair of dragons for today’s opening ceremony – which I missed by a couple of days. Congrats to everyone on the ARP team, and conscripted builders and artists who worked so hard to establish another world-class display.

Below: Same lizard a few minutes later in her spacious new Komodo-like home – complete with surprisingly wide and fast-moving stream.

Video of internals of display may take time to load:

Pre-game IMG_9636