Even though some of you may be buried in snow, winter has definitely left Phoenix: it’s been in the 90s. That is unseasonably warm and most of us hope it cools off again before it’s supposed to be that hot. But before winter is officially over, I wanted to post some of the birds that wintered in our yard.
Without a doubt I enjoyed this little guy, above (“Yellow Bird”), the most. He was here last winter, too, and I hope he comes back next year. It’s a drag getting attached to a wild animal, not knowing if you’ll ever see them again. The above photo was taken a couple days ago and I haven’t seen him since so maybe he has begun migration. Safe travels, little dude.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
This warbler, above, was the first time I’ve seen this species in our yard. It and the Orange-crowned Warbler were chasing each other around the mesquite tree the other day.
I only saw this bird, above, for one day. Last year we had several come in the spring when our mulberry trees got berries…that will happen in the next couple of weeks so maybe they will be back. Hoping for some other berry-eaters, too.
House Finches, male and female
Anna’s Hummingbirds, male and female
Gila Woodpecker, male
House Sparrow, female
Migration will be in full swing soon so I hope to see some new and exciting birds.
Posted in Home
Tagged Finches, Gila Woodpecker, Home, Hummingbirds, Mockingbirds, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, Thrashers, Verdins, White-Crowned Sparrow, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Cactus Wrens (Arizona State Bird)
(above graphic credit)
Northern Mockingbird (pondering what lies ahead)
Wishing all of us peace, love, and understanding…as well as health and prosperity in 2017!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Curve-billed Thrasher (being a Grinch)
Everywhere I go, the birds seem to be really getting into the holiday spirit this year…that’s a good thing.
Costa’s Hummingbird, female
We, on the other hand, have yet to decorate our tree, although it’s up. Most presents are bought and sent, most Christmas cards are out…still a few things to do but it always gets done in the end.
Hope your holiday season is going well so far…
It’s cold here in Phoenix right now…really. See?
The birds in our yard are happy to have some food.
Anna’s Hummingbirds, males
I was just telling a birder friend last weekend that I had a sweet Orange-crowned Warbler who wintered with me last year and that I hoped it would come back this year. Monday I walked outside and guess who was here? And I’m pretty sure it’s the same one because it has a little black “muzzle” around its bill. I’m so flattered and amazed that it came back to my yard and hope we have many photo shoots in the future.
That same friend and I went on a little birding outing last weekend. She had yet to see the (rare for AZ) Red-breasted Sapsucker that I mentioned in my last blog post. And I had never seen a Red-naped Sapsucker, reported at the same Scottsdale park. It was a very cloudy day, not the best for photography, but we found her target bird:
And we found my target bird, a lifer:
It had been months since I last had a lifer. My friend and I then went back to Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden as she had never been there. No lifers and not much bird action at all on a cold, cloudy day.
LIFE WITHOUT MARBLES
In sadder news, we had our almost 19 year old cat, Marbles, put to sleep last week. The vet came to our house and it was very peaceful. Marbles left purring.
He loved laying in sunny spots. We didn’t get Marbles until he was 6 so we only spent 12 and a half years with him. He was always a very small cat but very alpha, especially the first few years. He mellowed later on and he and Google were great brothers.
This is Google saying goodbye on his last day.
Kitty dynamics always change when one dies. We still have 3 indoor cats, who don’t get along with each other very well. Maybe that will change now. And we also have our many outdoor cats. Soon I will update on them.
Not me, my new lens. I’ve been trying to determine if it is, in fact, sharper than my previous super telephoto lens. It’s definitely sharp in good light but I guess I can’t expect miracles in low light.
So last winter an out-of-range Red-breasted Sapsucker wintered in a Scottsdale park. Amazingly, he returned again this year to not only the same park but the same couple of mesquite trees he preferred last year! I guess he enjoyed his winter in Scottsdale as many other snowbirds do. This year he was a little higher up than last year so my photos are not as good but I loved seeing him and think it’s so amazing that one little bird can find the very tree he was in last year.
I stopped at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden on my way home and saw a few other critters (almost all in low light).
House Finch, male
And back to my yard:
American Snout Butterfly
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
This guy, thankful for nuts…
Posted in Home
Tagged Butterflies, Doves, Finches, Holidays, Home, Hummingbirds, Mockingbirds, Parks, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Say's Phoebe, Scottsdale, Starling, Thrashers, Verdins