Powdered Dancer Damselfly
Fiery Skippers (click to see larger)
We’ve had the best October ever, weather-wise. Due to some Pacific tropical storms, we had over 3 inches of rain in early October and it’s been far cooler than normal. Usually it’s still unbearably hot in October…not this year!!!! It’s been awesome.
Although I didn’t see any migrating birds in our yard and no new yard birds lately, we have had some colorful and more occasional visitors this month.
Ornate Tree Lizard
The rain brought fungi, gnats, and mosquitos. No fairies under those ‘shrooms.
Rosy-faced Lovebird and Lesser Goldfinch (click to see larger)
Anna’s Hummingbirds, males
Gila Woodpecker, female
Look who’s getting excited about Halloween Trick or Treats!!!
Curve-billed Thrasher, House Finch, Northern Mockingbird (click to see larger)
And the most exciting visitor is this little bird (“Tink”). This is his/her 4th winter to come to our yard and this year she showed up a couple weeks earlier than last year. She loves grape jelly and usually stays until about April. I’m so glad to see her back. I know she will pose nicely for me several times this winter. According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “The oldest known Orange-crowned Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 7 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California.” I just find it amazing that a bird can find its way back to a specific place year after year but it does happen. I feel flattered that she likes the accommodations.
Hope your October is as awesome as ours is!
House Finches, immature
I disappeared for awhile…I’m in northern Indiana because my mother is in a rehab unit after a fall and we’re deciding where she will go afterwards. She wants to go back home so that is what we are hoping can happen. I’m an only child and know next to nothing about this town or navigating any of these healthcare/assisted living/bureaucratic issues. It’s a sucky time all around, for sure.
So this was my yard before I left AZ. I miss my husband, my cats, my house, my birds, my friends, and Arizona. Tony is taking care of the kitties and birds. Someday I’ll be back…
To make matters even worse, my t-mobile hotspot that I have just for visiting Indiana (since my mother doesn’t have wifi) is not working well because t-mobile is upgrading their cell towers in this area so reception is sporadic and poor. Right now I’m using the next-door neighbor’s wifi (with permission) so it’s nice to be able to get online again.
We have the quinfecta of doves in our yard:
And my newest yard bird, #40 (although I’ve seen this bird around for quite awhile):
African Collared-Dove (Ringed Turtle Dove)
These birds are usually escaped captive birds that don’t do well in the wild but this one seems to be doing fine. There’s also a chance that it’s just a very pale Eurasian Collared-Dove but several birders ID’ed it as African Collared so I’m going with that.
I hope to get out and go birding a couple times while I’m here but I don’t have my birding lens with me so I may have to rent one…the one I have with me just doesn’t work well for birds.
So…wish me luck, I hope things go smoothly and we can all get back to a more normal life pretty soon.
Sorry if I haven’t visited your blogs, I’ll be trying to do that in the next couple of days.
Ash-throated Flycatcher, Yard Bird #39
These Black-chinned Hummingbirds are smaller than our resident Anna’s Hummingbirds. They’re also more skittish. It’s really hard to get a photo of their purple collar as well as getting them in flight. I wasn’t able to get a photo yet of one flying while showing the purple.
Black-chinned Hummingbird, male
Black-chinned Hummingbird, female
Green-tailed Towhee, Yard Bird #40
I was totally shocked to see this guy, above, but it is spring migration so you never know who may pop by. We have a mulberry bush with berries right now but I don’t know if he got any and I haven’t seen him since. They are beautiful birds. He appeared at almost sunset with the sun right behind him and only posed on a wire so these aren’t the greatest shots.
Mom House Sparrow feeding baby
House Finch, immature
House Finches, male
The orange guy is a little different from all the red ones we have. It’s partly due to diet and genetics. This is an interesting article about why redder is not always better for finches.
Anna’s Hummingbird, flying by fake hummer
Stripey and the Solar Cat
See Stripey’s tongue sticking out? I don’t think she was too impressed with the solar cat.
“How many peanuts can I fit in my bill?”
It was an exciting day in the yard last week when yard bird #38 showed up, haven’t seen it since:
Cooper’s Hawk, immature
House Finches, male feeding female (or young one)
Gila Woodpecker, male
This was also exciting (to me). After 24 years of living in this house and having our aloe veras multiply exponentially so that there are now several beds of them, we had one that bloomed yellow. How that hasn’t happened until now and why it’s the only one that is a different species is a mystery. The hummingbirds love the orange ones but didn’t seem impressed by this yellow one so the bees took over.
Honey Bee on yellow Aloe blooms
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
Anna’s Hummingbird, female
Prepare for cuteness. This little Anna’s fledgling wants her mom to keep feeding her but mom thinks she needs to be on her own, with a little supervision:
You can see she’s able to find food with all the pollen on her bill. She just wants her mom to do it.
Here is my NSFW (Not Safe for Work) image, pretend it’s Nat Geo:
A sure sign of spring in the desert is the return of these guys, who love to drink the nectar from saguaro blossoms. As far as I know, there are very few or no saguaros in our neighborhood but we always get a few of them who hang out here. The blue eye shadow is very noticeable.
My little Orange-crowned Warbler that stayed in our yard for the last 5 months has now migrated, too. Hope he or she returns in the fall.