Yard bird species #42 welcomed me back to our Phoenix yard. He’s been around a few times so I hope he will stick around. He seems to enjoy the dining choices.
I’m glad to be back home but I feel like I’m in a fog and sort of half in Indiana and half here. Sometimes when I wake up, I can’t figure out where I am. So far my mom is doing pretty well and has more help at home but she’s quite elderly. I mean, I’m technically elderly now, too, so she really is and it’s worrisome. I’m trying to get back in my routine but it’s coming very slowly.
Brown-headed Cowbird, juvenile
Nice to see my familiar birds again, though. It’s excruciatingly hot and humid here. We’re in our monsoon season so I have yet to get back out birding other than occasionally sitting in the yard briefly.
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Black-chinned Hummingbird, female
Northern Mockingbird (sorry, gecko)
We haven’t gone on any of our day trips yet and I would really like to go up north but, with the monsoons, it’s not always good to be out driving in the late afternoons so I don’t know when we will go somewhere…soon, I hope.
Well, because of my computer crashing while I was back in Indiana and needing to get a new one, I temporarily had no access to all of my photos. I got the files restored from my old hard drive so here are a few more photos from Indiana that I couldn’t post earlier.
Darden Bridge on the St. Joseph River
Eastern Chipmunk (destructive little beasts)
American Robin, juvenile
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.
Brown’s Ranch was founded in 1917 by E.O. Brown, a Scottsdale entrepreneur, and encompassed 44,000 acres at its peak, supporting 3,000 to 5,000 head of cattle. His descendants lived on the ranch until 1970. After changing hands several times, the remainder of the ranch was acquired by the City of Scottsdale in 1999 for inclusion in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat that includes an interconnected network of non-motorized, multi-use trails (hike/bike/horse) accessed from multiple trailhead locations over 30,500 acres. It is the largest urban park in the U.S.
It was a sunny, windy day and the 3 mile Brown’s Ranch Trail just got prettier and birdier the farther we went. We’d never been to any part of the Preserve before and I had no idea it was so beautiful. The trails were great. We’ll be exploring more of it soon.
White-crowned Sparrow (on agave stalk)
I imagine in the spring, when the desert is in bloom, that it is even more spectacular.
Cactus Wren (on agave stalk)
Phainopepla, male (on agave stalk)
Gilded Flicker couple
Yes, those are bullet holes even though shooting is not allowed in the Preserve. But this is Arizona, the Wild West.
Mount Humboldt with FAA Radar Facility
Northern Mockingbird (on agave stalk)
There were no lifers but it is definitely on the “return to” list, at some point. And I learned that birds love dried agave stalks so I am in search of one for my backyard photo props.
Anna’s Hummingbirds, males
I’ve gone birding a few times lately with a new birder friend, Karen. We went to several places that Tony and I have actually been to so I didn’t take the lens I use for landscapes, only my birding lens. And, of course, I got very few birds at those places so this post is just a sample of some of those birds as well as a few in my yard. These first few are yard birds.
Gila Woodpeckers, male and female
One of the places Karen and I went to was Arlington, full of agricultural fields, where Tony and I were in January (post).
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
We saw about 12 cranes, they were lifers for me, as were Brewer’s Blackbirds (no pic).
The following 3 shots were taken at a strange and not very attractive place called Robbins Butte Wildlife Area, run by Arizona Game and Fish Department. The sound of gunfire accompanied us. We did both get a lifer there called Bell’s Sparrow but neither of us got photos. We just saw it briefly and clearly through her scope and then it took off.
Kestrel Nesting Box
We drove over to Lake Pleasant Regional Park in search of 2 particular rare waterbirds and found neither.
The other day Karen and I went to Seven Springs, where Tony and I went in December (post). It was cold, windy, raining and hailing and there were very few birds out. We did drive up Humboldt Mountain, where the FAA radar facility is, and it was a gorgeous drive on a narrow but paved road. Once again, I only had my birding lens so no photos. That is on my “return to” list.