The Halloween Ball

Curve-billed Thrasher with treat

The birds (and other critters) have been having a ball in our yard the last few days leading up to Halloween. In addition to their regular oranges, grape jelly, and suet, they’ve been enjoying bird seed packed with fruits and nuts that I recently won in the Pennington Wild Bird Photo Contest (with this photo). Plus they find extra goodies in the yard like insects, berries, and pomegranates.

Gilded Flicker, female, yard bird species #33

This girl, above, has started dropping by for a drink now and then. She’s so pretty.

Honey Bees enjoying pine sap

Anna’s Hummingbird, male

Northern Mockingbird

House Finch, female

White-crowned Sparrow, first of season

Eurasian Collared-Dove

House Finches, male

Gila Woodpecker, male

Queen Butterfly in Mesquite

Orange-crowned Warbler

If this is the same warbler, this will be its third year to winter in our yard. He or she is also over a month early so I’m not positive it’s the same one yet. Time may tell…I hope it is or, if not, I hope the other one will show up later and I’ll have 2. There is grape jelly in this feeder and this bird loves it.

House Sparrow,male

Abert’s Towhee

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Fall in the Desert

Swiss Chard

Orange Sulphur (I think)

Painted Lady

Our lantanas are filled with butterflies now, mostly Painted Ladies. I have never seen so many before at one time. This article might explain it.

Jeremiah

Costa’s Hummingbird, female

Creosote Seed Pods

Blue Dasher

Flame Skimmer

Lesser Goldfinch, bathing

Queen

I don’t like taking photos of butterflies with torn and tattered wings, too sad to know their lives are ending very soon, but it’s part of nature…

These photos were taken in our yard, the Desert Botanical Garden, and Dig It Gardens, my local urban nursery.

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Spring Sprung at the DBG

In March, this female Williamson’s Sapsucker showed up at the Desert Botanical Garden for a few days. She really loved the aloe nectar so she stayed in one area and was easy to find. They are rare here (preferring western mountains) so many birders went out to see her.

She looked very pretty foraging through the blooms.

Zebra Longwing

Common Buckeye

These are from the new Butterfly Pavilion at DBG. I guess I don’t enjoy photographing them in a controlled setting like that; it’s more challenging to get them in their native environments. Apparently both these species can be found in Arizona but I’ve never seen them.

Desert Spiny Lizard

Lesser Goldfinch, female

Gambel’s Quail, male

Phainopepla, male

And just in time for Easter!

Desert Cottontail

Abundant Sunshine

mystery-bug_edited-1

I have no clue what this insect is but I’m trying to find out. He has some loooong antennae, though. He was soaking up the sunshine nibbling the lantana.

mystery-bug-2

abundant-sunshine

Today’s weather sounded more like a fortune than a forecast. I intended to go birding somewhere but made the often repeated mistake of sitting in the backyard watching the birds “for just a couple minutes,” and then it was too late to head out. Tomorrow…

cb-thrasherCurve-billed Thrasher

grackle-girlGreat-tailed Grackle, female

incaInca Dove

annas-9-23-16

annas-2-9-23-16

hum-molt-10-3-16Anna’s Hummingbirds, males, molting

verdin-and-hummerVerdin and Anna’s Hummingbird

You can see that Verdins are only a tiny bit larger than hummingbirds.

cloudless-sulphurCloudless Sulphur

bee-9-24-16Honey Bee (with full pollen baskets)

kestrel-boyAmerican Kestrel, male

kestrel-couple

The female Kestrel flew in a few seconds later and all the rest of the birds took off. They soon left, empty-taloned.

flesh-flyFlesh Fly

eufala-skipperEufala Skipper

Notice how the skippers, above and below, seem to have tiny little horns coming out of their heads? I never noticed that until today, after years of photographing them.

skipper-horns

fiery-skipperFiery Skipper

The lantana is the popular place to be if you’re a little flying critter. I’ve seen some other butterflies there in the last few days but haven’t been able to get any shots.

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September at the DBG

verdinVerdin

One morning last week I volunteered at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) and walked the garden afterwards. It was a gloomy day and a little cooler so I thought the birds would be out in full force. Wrong. I didn’t take one photo. Fortunately, I had been there the week before, though, and did get a few pictures…on another gloomy day.

verdin-2

And it was beginning to look autumnal…

queen-3

queen-4

queen-1

queen-2Queen Butterfly

These particular butterflies were all over the place. And so were the Lesser Goldfinches in all sorts of acrobatic positions:

lego

lego-usd

2-goldfinches

2-more-goldfinches

bee-sign

bee-hive

gila-wpGila Woodpecker

green-tailed-towheeGreen-tailed Towhee

hum-lantana-2

hum-lantana

hum-dbg-3

hum-dbgAnna’s Hummingbirds, female and male

gallCreosote Gall (with midges inside!)

starling-silhouetteEuropean Starlings

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