Happy Spring! I know it may not look like spring everywhere but it does here in Arizona. These first 3 shots were taken in our yard on the Vernal Equinox and the others were taken close to it.
Painted Lady on Lantana
There are actually 4 critters in the above photo, 2 besides the obvious butterfly and bee, which I didn’t see until editing the photo. The answers to this puzzle will appear at the end of this post.
Fiery Skipper on Lantana
Black-chinned Hummingbird, male
We only have Black-chinned hummers in the spring. I don’t know if this is the same one that has been coming for the last couple of years but he arrived on schedule and usually stays until May. It’s very hard to get a shot with the purple collar showing but here is one from last year. I hope he will be cooperative again this year. Right now he is very shy and skittish.
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Yesterday I was at the Desert Botanical Garden, specifically looking for this one particular bird that has been there for several weeks. I’m always amazed when I can find one little bird in a big place but this time I actually did within about 10 minutes and not where he normally hangs out. He should be migrating to California soon but maybe he has decided to stay. He is molting right now so his throat feathers will be more resplendent in coming weeks but he’s still pretty cute right now.
From Granada Park in Phoenix:
Yellow-rumped Warbler, female
From Lake Margherite in Scottsdale:
Northern Shoveler couple
From Evelyn Hallman Park in Tempe:
What says “Spring” like baby ducks?
The four critters in the butterfly and bee photo:
Most of these photos will be pretty ugly…There is a place I’ve been to a few times just west of Phoenix called Glendale Recharge Ponds. These ponds belong to Salt River Project, one of our electric companies, and they attract a huge amount of waterbirds and shorebirds and quite a few rarities. They are next to New River, which is part of the attraction for the birds. The only problem is it’s a very unattractive area and the birds are usually way out on the ponds so it’s hard to sneak up on them and get good photos.
I was out there a couple weeks ago, again, looking for a specific rare bird…that I never found but here are a few shots of birds I did find there.
Although I didn’t find the bird I was looking for (Long-tailed Duck), I did get one lifer there:
These photos give an idea of how “industrial” looking the area is and how it also attracts people who enjoy graffiti and tagging. Even though there are houses nearby, the area is kind of creepy and remote, in my opinion. Almost every time I go there, I’m the only one around.
Seriously not my favorite place to go but the variety and quantity of birds there is amazing. There are always several hundred birds in the water plus plenty of raptors flying overhead, including Bald Eagles.
Bald Eagle, immature
This was my 700th post!
These photos were from a recent late afternoon visit to Papago Park in Phoenix.
Ring-Necked Duck Drake
Snowy and Cormy
Papago has a lot of reeds which can make for interesting patterns on the water.
Common Gallinule, immature
I went there in search of these lifers, Northern Pintails, and I found them. There were 3 drakes and a popular hen.
After posing nicely, they swam off into the sunset.
Fountain Hills, AZ, is home to a world-famous fountain that operates daily and shoots water 562 feet high. I was there on December 15th and today, New Year’s Day, Tony and I went back. Fountain Park is a beautiful place with a 29 acre lake and the park is filled with sculptures and recreation areas. It has changed a lot since the last time I was there years ago. This is my favorite sculpture there:
But…the reason I initially went was because I wanted to see these guys, and I did…fun-loving Hooded Mergansers, a lifer. Both drakes and hens were there.
The second lifer I saw there was this female Common Goldeneye:
And the third lifer I saw, today, to start out 2016, was this Eared Grebe.
Love those red eyes. And I also saw these guys:
Ruddy Duck, male
Ruddy Duck, female
Northern Shovelers, churning up their food
The first day I was there, which was cold and windy, I also saw these birds:
Great-tailed Grackle, female
Red-winged Blackbird, male
House Sparrow, female
I hope the new year has started out fortuitously for you, too.