Sparse Leafpeeping in Indiana

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I just got back from northern Indiana and, disappointingly, the leaves were just beginning to change on most of the trees. It’s a very late fall. It was also cloudy and raining most of the time I was there…

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It was even foggy one morning, something rarely seen in Phoenix.

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Now that’s what I wanted to see more of, above.

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Behind those marshy grasses, above, is a little pond where ducks hang out. This girl is the only one who came out to greet me this year wearing her leaf necklace.

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She’s a Mallard hybrid which I confirmed with one of my knowledgeable birding buddies.

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I was hoping to see some Cardinals, Robins, Blue Jays, something…I heard birds but never saw any close up.

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This guy did not seem to want his photo taken as right after this shot, above, he started chasing me. So I left.

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Just not as dramatic as I had hoped for… :(

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Fall Flutterbyes

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Giant Swallowtail 10.11.14

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Giant Swallowtail, above.

Queens 2

Queen 1

Queens

Queens, above.

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Skippers, above.

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Painted Lady, above.

Rocks Crop

The last photo is actually from earlier this year of a Painted Lady but since the one from the other day was not really in focus I’m including this better one from last February.

Birdwalk at the DBG

Finch Praying

To go with my praying Mockingbird in my last post, here is a female House Finch in prayer at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Gila Woodpeckers

Every Monday they have a birdwalk there but I’m usually at work. Last Monday I was off so I went. It was kind of a slow bird day, in my opinion, as I often see more in my own yard but a few made an appearance. Those are Gila Woodpeckers, above.

Thrasher

This is a Curve-Billed Thrasher which is in the same songbird family as Mockingbirds (Mimidae).

Curve-Billed Thrasher

You can see the similarity:

Mock

Hummer

Cactus Wren 2

Our state bird, the Cactus Wren.

Spiny Lizard 2

And, of course, we saw a few non-birds like this Spiny Lizard.

Flicker

From afar, I saw a Gilded Woodpecker.

American Wigeon 1

When I left the DBG, I stopped in at the Papago Park ponds close by and saw this American Wigeon, above, as well as a colorful Common Gallinule showing off.

Common Gallinule 2

Common Gallinule

Grackle and Catch

Nature is harsh sometimes as when a pretty dragonfly gets gobbled up by a happy Grackle.  :( That’s the way it goes, I guess.

I also saw a Great Horned Owl up in a tree, far away, facing the other direction, so I’m not sure that counts on my birding list.

Random Shots

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Northern Mockingbird, saying his morning prayers, my yard today.

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Male Anna’s Hummingbird, my yard.

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Fiery Skipper, after the heavy rains last weekend, my yard, and some more after the water evaporated.

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2 Flying

Juvenile and adult Black-Crowned Night Herons, Scottsdale. I was at another little marshy lake there but this was really the only shot I liked much.

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Harris’s Hawk, flyover, my house.

Phillip's Purple Bush

My neighbor’s bush, possibly a Butterfly Bush, but I’m not sure…

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I guess this is a Grackle but it does not look at all like those in my yard so possibly it’s a Great-Tailed Grackle. He was seen in Glendale.

My September Yard

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Anna’s Hummingbirds, always the star of our yard when they pose for me. Their colors change so much depending on how the sun hits them.

American Kestrel

A first in my yard, an American Kestrel, male. He didn’t stay long and I haven’t seen him since. I just didn’t want him eating my hummers or verdins…but he was exciting to see.

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Female and male House Finch.

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Everyday that I am able to sit out in my yard in the morning (not enough), this Gila Woodpecker drops by for a quick snack and takes off before I get a good photo.

GW Feather

I like to think this is one of the woodpecker’s feathers…

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Don’t eat my birds, please, Harris’s Hawk.

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European Starling 9.27.14

The ubiquitous European Starling, invasive species to all of the US but handsome and entertaining. We don’t seem to have as many Grackles when these guys are around…

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House sparrow, above.

Inca Dove

Inca Dove, above.

Sirius Dragonfly

This dragonfly (a Meadowhawk) is serious about my Sirius XM antenna.

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My Northern Mockingbird friends are hanging around more again.

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And the little flighty Verdins at the hummer feeders…

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Look closely. The beautiful may be small. ~ Immanuel Kant

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