A Birdy Day

Those are Sandhill Cranes! My excellent birder friend, Karen, and I went birding the other day to Buckeye and Arlington, west of Phoenix, and had a very birdy day seeing at least 49 species and well over 1,000 birds. We saw 58 Sandhill Cranes in an agricultural field and this year we were able to get close enough to get decent photos. That alone was an awesome experience…but wait, there’s more…

Red-tailed Hawk

Vesper Sparrow
Loggerhead Shrike

Western Meadowlarks

We saw a Great Blue Heron rookery with many flying in and out. These 2 were on a nest together:

Long-billed Curlews in a flock of about 150

Burrowing Owl
Immature Bald Eagle

American Pipits

It’s very lush and pretty out in the agricultural fields, not something you usually associate with the Phoenix desert. I got 2 lifers, the Curlews as well as a Prairie Falcon that I only saw but did not photograph. We had a great birding experience.

Winter in the Desert

We went to the Desert Botanical Garden again a few days ago. It’s not quite time for the wildflowers to begin blooming but it’s always a pretty place to walk. No new birds either but I’ll keep trying…

Cactus Wrens, Arizona State Bird

Gilded Flickers

Curve-billed Thrashers

Gila Woodpecker

Twenty Twenty!

Female and Male Anna’s Hummingbirds

Here are a few yardbirds that have shown up in 2020. I think this little guy was here last winter. You often don’t see the red crowns on the males unless they are excited…I guess he got excited.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

My favorite wintering bird for her 4th-5th year, Tink, is getting more willing to pose for me:

Orange-crowned Warbler

Gila Woodpecker, female
American Kestrel, male
Inca Dove
Northern Mockingbird

Lesser Goldfinches, female and male

We recently took a walk around nearby Granada Park, not a great photography day:

Above are a cairn, Rosy-faced Lovebirds, a Ring-necked Duck, and a mountain rescue we observed on nearby Piestewa Peak.

Wishing you a happy 2020!

Moon Before Yule

Moon Over Camelback Mountain

This was the moon on December 10th, early evening, at 97.9%. I haven’t been out photographing much with holiday shopping, get-togethers, home repair issues, and quite a bit of rain for Phoenix.

Orange-crowned Warbler

My Orange-crowned Warbler, Tink, has decided to spend her 4th winter here in our yard. I’m always so happy when she returns and make sure there is plenty of grape jelly for her enjoyment.

This tiny snail appeared after one of our rains. I put it into one of our outdoor plant pots and haven’t seen it since.

Here are a few more of our winter birds:

Curve-billed Thrasher
Verdin
Gila Woodpecker
Anna’s Hummingbirds, male and female
Inca Dove
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
Ferguson

Tony used Christmas lights to make the peace symbol but we will probably keep it in our front window year-round because why not?

Happy Holidays!

Back to the Verde

The Verde River in Tonto National Forest
Running Fast and Furious
Black Phoebe
Cooper’s Hawk
Desert Broom
Not if you’re a birder…

We last went to the Verde River in early December 2017 when the fall colors were far more vivid. I guess we went a little too early this year and the birds were not cooperative either. We didn’t even see horses like we did that time. Oh, well, can’t complain too much because it was still very pretty…