Bird Patio, Part 2

Roadrunner

Roadrunner 4

Roadrunner 3

Roadrunner 2Greater Roadrunner

Everyone is on guard when this guy enters Samantha’s yard because, yup, he will eat them if he must. He’s fascinating to watch. Here are more birds I saw in Samantha’s yard a couple of weeks ago. See my last post for more.

Quail F 2

Quail F 3

Quail FGambel’s Quail, female

Quail MGambel’s Quail, male

Thrasher 1

Thrasher 2

Thrasher 3

Thrasher Eat NutCurve-billed Thrasher

WC Sparrow

WC Sparrow Eating

WC Sparrow 2White-crowned Sparrow

White-Crowned SparrowWhite-crowned Sparrow, immature

GoldfinchLesser Goldfinch, House Finch

I wish I had paid more attention to the Goldfinches because I’ve never gotten a very good shot of one and seldom see them.

Birds aren’t the only ones who receive preferential treatment at the Bird Patio. There are all sorts of critters around. We saw a coyote pass by, too.

SquirrelHarris’s Antelope Squirrel

I have many more shots of Samantha’s patio birds but I think I have covered most of the birds I saw in these 2 posts. Some of the others might pop up here and there in the future…all in all, a great birding day for me.

Bird Patio, Part 1

GilaGila Woodpecker, male

Gila Female 2

Gila FemaleGila Woodpecker, female

In my last post, I mentioned that I went to a birding friend’s house in Apache Junction after she, two other friends, and I met at Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Well, as fun as Gilbert was and as cool as getting 8 lifers there was, going to Samantha’s house was the icing on the cake and one of the best birding experiences I’ve had.

Samantha's Patio

I didn’t have a wide angle lens with me but this is a photo that Samantha took awhile ago (I have her permission to post it here). She has a phenomenal patio that looks out over a wash with the Superstition Mountains beyond. In the foreground, you can see her hummingbird and bird feeders but what you can’t see are all the beautiful perches she also has for the birds.

Flicker F

Flicker 3Gilded Flicker, female

She hides suet, seed, peanuts, etc. on them and the birds come flying in to search for the food thereby providing attractive and closeup photo opportunities.

Blackjack 1

Blackjack 2

Blackjack 3Curve-billed Thrasher, melanistic

This handsome guy above, Blackjack, is much darker than a typical Curve-billed Thrasher and is a topic of interest among local birding experts.

Cactus WrenCactus Wren, Arizona State Bird

Finch M

3 Finches

Finch CoupleHouse Finches, male and female

Abert's Towhee

Towhee 2Abert’s Towhee

I don’t count birds on my life list unless I’ve seen and photographed them since beginning birding so, although I grew up in Illinois and Indiana and used to see Northern Cardinals (the State Bird of both those states) all the time, I had yet to see them in Arizona. I knew Samantha had them in her yard frequently so I was hoping they would drop in. I got half my wish…and I was excited!

Cardinal 2

Cardinal 5_edited-1

Cardinal 3

Cardinal 1

Cardinal 4Northern Cardinal, female

The males are more timid, unfortunately, but she’s so beautiful anyway. Samantha said the boy showed up later that afternoon after we had left, of course.

Anna'sAnna’s Hummingbird, male

Anna's 2Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Her hummingbird feeders attract a ton of hummers but I was concentrating on the other birds more.

Next time, more birds from this awesome bird patio..

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Gilbert Riparian Winter

Great EgretGreat Egret

Snowy EgretSnowy Egret

Black-crowned Night HeronBlack-crowned Night Heron

Green HeronGreen Heron

Last weekend I met some birding friends at The Riparian Preserve At Water Ranch in Gilbert, a Phoenix suburb. It’s usually just referred to as Gilbert Riparian. It’s really the place to go to see mega-birds but, being lazy, I seldom go there because it’s about 30 miles from home…which isn’t much, I know. I should go more because I got 8 lifers there that day!

Here they are:

LB Dowitchers

DowitcherLong-billed Dowitcher

Lesser Yellowlegs 2Lesser Yellowlegs

It’s kind of dark there in many places and some of the ponds (there are 7) were very low so the ducks were far away. The water levels fluctuate because it’s part of Gilbert’s water treatment system so a lot of my photos were not great.

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Spotted Towhee, Green-winged Teal, Cattle Egret, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Harrier

And I also got a really, really bad photo of a Song Sparrow that I’m not posting but it was also a lifer although I’m sure I’ve seen them around a lot in life as they’re quite common. But I only count birds as lifers if I have seen and photographed them since starting to bird.

And a few more non-lifers rounded out the morning.

Ruddy Blue BillRuddy Duck, male

KestrelAmerican Kestrel, male

Anna'sAnna’s Hummingbird

AvocetAmerican Avocet

After spending a few hours there, my friends and I went on to Apache Junction, where one of them lives, and spent the afternoon on her beautiful patio at the foot of the Superstition Mountains where she attracts a ton of birds and where I got some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. Next time…

Granada Winter

Canvasback DrakeCanvasback Duck, drake

Canvasback HenCanvasback Duck, hen

While not technically a lifer because I saw a female Canvasback last year, I had never seen a male Canvasback until I was at Granada Park recently. I love those red eyes.

It was a gloomy day so the water looked murky. I didn’t know what the following duck was until later and he isn’t a lifer either but I had never seen a juvenile Redhead before:

Redhead Juvie

Redhead Juvie 3

This is what he will look like when he grows up (from the same lake last year), another handsome duck:

Redhead Drop

Redhead 1

And because they are so often overlooked because they are common, yet really pretty:

Mallard PerfectionMallard, drake

BTGC 2

BTGC FlyBlack-tailed Gnatcatcher

MockNorthern Mockingbird

Hum Red

Hum Chat

Hum Fly

HummerAnna’s Hummingbirds

BflyWestern Pygmy Blue

Papago Winter

Snowy 1

Snowy 2Snowy Egret

These photos were from a recent late afternoon visit to Papago Park in Phoenix.

PhoebeBlack Phoebe

Ring-necked Duck Head

Ring-necked DuckRing-Necked Duck Drake

CormorantNeotropic Cormorant

Snowy 3Snowy and Cormy

Shoveler ReedsNorthern Shoveler

Papago has a lot of reeds which can make for interesting patterns on the water.

GallinuleCommon Gallinule, immature

GrebePied-Billed Grebe

I went there in search of these lifers, Northern Pintails, and I found them. There were 3 drakes and a popular hen.

Pintail 5

Pintail 1

Pintail Couple

Pintail 4

Pintail 3

Pintail 2

After posing nicely, they swam off into the sunset.

4 Pintails

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