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

Apache Junction

meadowlark-1

meadowlark-2

A couple of weeks ago, Tony and I spent a lovely day in Apache Junction. I found my target bird, a Western Meadowlark, at Prospector Park, pretty quickly. Such big, handsome birds.

There were a few other pretty birds there:

quailGambel’s Quail, male

vfcVermillion Flycatcher, male

finchHouse Finch, male

phoebe-flySay’s Phoebe

We were already almost there so we went on to my new favorite park, Lost Dutchman State Park, in the Superstition Mountains. It was gorgeous!

superstitions

treasure-loop

posts

Although I didn’t spot any lifers there, I was able to get my best ever shots of these plentiful Phainopeplas, striking birds with red eyes.

phainopepla-malePhainopepla, male

phainopepla-femalePhainopepla, female

mtn-close-1

mtn-closeup-2

phain-silhouette

And no visit to Apache Junction is complete without a stop at the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel, a movie memorabilia museum showing the movies that were filmed at Apacheland, including Charro, starring Elvis.

elvis-chapel-1

The Heat is On

Sag Buds and Bloom

It was 100° this weekend but it wasn’t our first of the year. We’ve had a few the last couple of weeks. Starting today we have 4-5 days in the 90s so I hope to get out and catch a few more lifers or at least some pretty birds before 100°+ becomes the summer norm.

Leaf-footed Bug NymphsLeaf-footed Bug Nymphs on Hibiscus

Yard bird species #28 and #29:

Brewer's SparrowBrewer’s Sparrow

Phainopepla F_edited-1Phainopepla, female

Verdin Baby Orange

Verdin Baby Wings

Verdin SuetVerdin, juvenile

I’ve never seen the adult Verdins at the suet feeder but this little one loves suet and also hops around on the ground with the sparrows, something Verdins never do. I guess he/she is a free-thinking bird.

Finch F 5.7.16House Finch

Sparrow Baby

Baby SuetHouse Sparrow, fledgling

SparrowHouse Sparrow, juvenile

Baby Mock 5.7.16Northern Mockingbird, fledgling

Towhee ConcreteAbert’s Towhee

BCHU 5.7.16Black-chinned Hummingbird

GW 5.7.16Gila Woodpecker

The Backyard Mean Girls are more interested in bullying each other than chasing birds.

Edie 5.7.16Edie

Stripe SeriousStripey

Lilki Lou 4.14.16Lilki

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Abuzz and Abloom

Cactus Flower and Bees Everyone and everything was abuzz and abloom the other morning at the Desert Botanical Garden. It seemed to be The Happiest Place on  Earth. Click on photos for more detail.

Isn’t this guy the epitome of happiness?

Starling Happy_edited-1

European Starling

Thrasher

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Finch Boy

It was a flying finch frenzy.

Finch Girl

House Finch, male and female

Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard

Sparrow Fly

House Sparrow, male

Dfly

Blue Dasher

CW 3

Cactus Wren, the Arizona State Bird

Quail

Gambel’s Quail, male

And I got 2 lifers!!!! This little posing bird:

Gnatcatcher 3

Gnatcatcher

Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, male

And another lifer, that I’ve been searching for:

Phain Boy

Phainopepla, male

Phain Girl 3

Phainopepla, female

Gila on Saguaro

Gila Woodpecker

Squirrel Eating

Antelope Squirrel

Yellow Cactus Flower

Bullfrog

Bullfrog

Cactus Color

The desert is glorious in spring and the best is yet to come…