A variety of natural habitats await the visitor to Potato Creek State Park in northwest Indiana including the 327 acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands. I know there were a ton of birds there but I was with my 95 year old mother so my opportunities for birding were limited (plus I didn’t take my birding lens back there).
I did get 3 lifers relatively easily so I can imagine what a few hours there would yield.
Brown-headed Cowbird, young
It rained 8 inches the day I got to Indiana so there was much flooding in many places. The park suffered damage to some of the trails and the lake was closed.
It was very lush, very humid, and pretty buggy. I’d forgotten that feeling of something cold and slimy flying right into your eye that I used to experience in midwest summers in the woods.
Years ago, I wrote about this same place.
Round-tailed Ground Squirrel
I was at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday volunteering (inside) and went walking around afterwards. It was very hot and humid and not much action in the animal world. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and spending more time there doing fun volunteer things and getting some new birds.
The following photos were taken in my yard. We have a lot of hummers right now. These are at least 2 different Anna’s Hummingbirds.
I’m heading off for a mini-adventure in a couple days so hope to have some different scenery and maybe some new birds to post soon…nothing exotic like the Galapagos Islands or anything like that…
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
A ragbag of photos, that is. There’s no theme here. These first few photos were taken in my yard over the last couple of days.
Here’s my nod to Rio ~ Olympic High Dive:
Blue Mud Dauber
Anna’s Hummingbird, female
I went out birding twice in the last two weeks and I had a target bird each time but didn’t get either! It’s sort of hard to find one specific bird among a whole bunch of trees…at least for me.
I went to Mountain View Park in Scottsdale, where I have gone many times in the past as it is close to where I used to work. I was in search of a pair of American Robins who have been nesting there all summer. The park was much larger than I knew before and I never saw a Robin. This is the only semi-decent shot I got:
Gilded Flicker, male
Then I went to a cemetery in Scottsdale a few days later, also another place I’ve been before. Everyday on the Maricopa Rare Bird Alert, this place is mentioned as having a Tropical Kingbird hanging out there. It would have been a lifer. But, no, I didn’t see it. All I saw was this guy/girl and its friend:
And this. Not until I looked at my photos on my computer did I see who was lurking underneath. You might have to click the photo to enlarge.
Fairies are a lot hotter now than when I was growing up.
We had a monster storm last night, one of those 100 year or 500 year monsoons, whichever they decide it was. We got almost 3 inches of rain in about an hour and it made a huge mess although we didn’t sustain any actual damage. I did find this nest with an egg nearby that had fallen out of our giant pine tree. It’s now on our shed under a branch but I doubt it’s viable after falling and being out in the rain and baking sun for 18 hours before I found it. I think it must be either a House Sparrow or a House Finch.
And speaking of mushrooms, this wet piece of wood has these sprouting out of it after the storm. Not for dinner.
If I waited until it was pleasant outside before I took any photos, it might be a looong time, so I forced myself to make a small effort in my hot and humid backyard today. This is a Mesquite tree but it’s our Hippie Tree. Many bird-attracting or bird-photo-enhancing things hang in this tree in our far backyard. It has also become the place to hang some found objects or things I don’t want anywhere else. I’m sure the collection will grow. The Mesquite provides shade, of course, but also has edible pods and tasty insects, too, or so the birds indicate. It’s an active area.
One of our 4 hummingbird feeders
Black-chinned Hummingbird, male
Anna’s Hummingbird, female
A little feeder stocked with leftover fruit and peanuts
A piece of driftwood
A peanut butter-covered pine cone
Orange half #1
A found squiggly
A Macy’s gift card star
A hummingbird swing, rarely used
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Windchimes, of course
Orange half #2
Aluminum utility cable found in the alley, now a perch
The perch, stocked with peanuts
A few of my favorite perch shots:
House Sparrow, male
House Sparrow, female
And this is the “bistro,” where I (and occasionally, Tony) sit and watch the birds in the Mesquite, under the shade of the Goldwater Pine.
That’s my backyard..okay, not really. It’s a little greenbelt area not too far from where I live; I think it really belongs to some office complexes but it’s like a little park…that no one goes to.
It’s got some mature mesquite trees and I like their twisty limbs.
I’ve written about this place before, years ago (1 and 2). A lot of the trees have been cut way back since then but they’re still hanging in there.
Meanwhile, back at the old ranch (home) a couple miles away, the birds are still loving our mesquite tree, not nearly as big as the ones above.
Anna’s Hummingbird, males
See the 2 little tail feathers on this one? I don’t know if they’re growing in or if he lost part of his tail feathers somehow.
And here is a Dove of Peace, what we need right now:
Great-tailed Grackle, female
Great-tailed Grackle, male
Abert’s Towhee, juvenile
Curve-billed Thrasher, juvenile
The poor birds walk around with their bills open all the time because of the unrelenting heat.
But that’s not the only reason it’s a long hot summer…