Not these guys, they’re here in force year-round, the Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, feral descendants of tame birds that survive well in the Phoenix area. But this is the time for the migrating birds to start showing up for the winter, along with the other snowbirds we get.
So last weekend at Granada Park in central Phoenix, close to where I live, I checked out who was around:
White-Crowned Sparrows make their annual reappearance this time of year.
Flocks of American Wigeons descend on our fair city. They make the cutest sounds, not quacks at all.
More American Coots with their funny feet arrive.
The wild Mallards show up although I’m not sure if this is a pure one since we have Mallard hybrids around all year.
The small, elegant Ring-Necked Ducks (also known as Blackjacks) make their presence known as flocks fill up the local lakes.
The European Starlings were watching the arrivals with me.
I see a lot of doves but not usually Mourning Doves.
I guess this might be a hawk nest? It was almost 2 feet long but it was just slightly above eye level so I can’t imagine a hawk having a nest that low. I’ll be going back to this park this weekend to see who else might be in town and maybe I’ll find the resident.
I like to call these “Herodynamics.” We were back at Tres Rios a couple of weeks ago. This post will look a lot like my original post from there, 7 weeks earlier.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron
Below are the only photos I could get of the comical, cartoonish-looking Belted Kingfisher. They’re fast!
This is my souvenir from the day which, I assume, is from a Great Blue Heron as it is about a foot long.
We’re members at the Desert Botanical Garden so we (especially I) go there pretty often. It’s also known as a local birding hotspot. We were there last Sunday but the conditions were not optimal. It was very crowded with the Monarch exhibit, the Day of the Dead celebration, and construction so the birds were laying low but we found a few. I was pleased this male House Sparrow, above, posed for me. They’re very common, apparently, but not in my circles so I was excited to see him.
Always a popular crowd-pleaser, the Greater Roadrunners hang around the cafe mooching.
We saw a lot of really tiny butterflies, smaller than Skippers. I tried to ID them but haven’t been able to yet. Edit: Western Pygmy Blue, Marine Blue, Dainty Sulfur (thanks to someone in one of my Facebook groups).
They loved this half-dead plant. Pretty little critters.
When I saw this prompt, above, I had to take a shot:
I don’t know why I think this tree trunk is so pretty, but I do.
The Gambel’s Quails were abundant there.
Curve-Billed Thrasher, above.
But this guy was my favorite and last shot of the day.
I share an interest with our cats, maybe on a slightly different level, but we do have a common pastime. Meet the Birding Team:
The indoor researchers: Marbles, Google, Jessi, in the top row, left to right, and the field team: Ebony, Ivory, and Edie (the Triplets), in the 2nd row, and Svengali, Stripey Laurie, and Winky, in the 3rd row. Click on photo to see how exceptionally cute they all are.
Here are some birds I’ve seen in this last week since returning to sunny Phoenix, in my yard, my ‘hood, Papago Park, the Franciscan Renewal Center, and a small lake at a nearby office complex.
Mallard Hybrid (I think)
Posted in Cats, Home, Phoenix, The Route to Work
Tagged American Wigeon, Black Phoebe, Cactus Wren, Cats, ducks, Gambel's Quail, Geese, herons, Hummingbirds, Mockingbirds, Papago Park, Parks, Phoenix, Scottsdale
To go with my praying Mockingbird in my last post, here is a female House Finch in prayer at the Desert Botanical Garden.
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.
This is a Curve-Billed Thrasher which is in the same songbird family as Mockingbirds (Mimidae).
You can see the similarity:
Our state bird, the Cactus Wren.
And, of course, we saw a few non-birds like this Spiny Lizard.
From afar, I saw a Gilded Woodpecker.
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.
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.
Posted in Phoenix
Tagged American Wigeon, Cactus Wren, Common Gallinule, Desert Botanical Garden, Dragonflies, Gila Woodpecker, Gilded Flicker, Grackle, Hummingbirds, Parks, Phoenix, Thrashers