Rosy-faced Lovebird, juvenile
House Finch family
Gambel’s Quail, male
I have a few photos saved up for times like these, the dog days of summer, when it’s just too hot to get motivated to go anywhere. By using these five photos, all taken in local parks (above), I am drastically depleting my reserve. So we have to get back on the road again very soon…
We traded Tony’s 2003 Mustang, which needed some expensive work, in and got a new-to-us Ford Escape. We had been using my car for our day trips but we really needed more clearance for some of the rougher roads.
We have a lot of pets, including a diabetic cat that needs insulin every 12 hours so it’s easiest for us to go on day trips since it would be a lot to require of a pet-sitter. It’s best if the places we go are less than 2.5 hours away so we can spend a few hours at our destination before heading home. I used this online tool (freemaptools.com) to draw a radius of 150 miles around Phoenix to see what all might be included. But I noticed that these distances are “as the crow flies” and to really get to some of them would take up to 4 hours or so depending on the roads.
So I modified the parameters to 150 minutes from Phoenix, driving an average of 70 mph, and came up with this map, below:
Fortunately, there are a lot of beautiful places within these boundaries and we need to get exploring. There are birds and all sorts of fascinating things out there.
Here’s Google, our diabetic cat, posing as a Currency Manipulator. He’s doing well, having been diabetic for almost 2 years now.
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.
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…
American Wigeon, female
Ring-Necked Duck, drake
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, female
Here are some baby birdies from late summer that I never posted. This is a Green Heron youngster, cartoonishly peeking out from the reeds:
And this is a Pied-Billed Grebe adolescent:
Fall’s in full swing here, finally!
Earlier this week, I went to a new-to-me park in Scottsdale (Northsight Park) because I had seen photos in my birding group of a cooperative male Vermilion Flycatcher spotted there. They’re really not very common in the city although outside of the city, you can find them often, especially in riparian areas. They are gorgeous birds. I’ve seen one back before I had a longer lens so my shots are not very good and I was hoping to get some closer photos. But, it was not meant to be, I guess. I did see the above Say’s Phoebe, only the second one I’ve seen, who posed nicely for me.
Saw a gazillion of these guys (this one is a girl), which are very plentiful here this time of year:
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
A few miles down the road, at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, a few more birds let me photograph them.
Gila Woodpecker, male
Great-Tailed Grackle, male
I also saw a Cooper’s Hawk but the pics are bad. And, finally, this happy hummingbird was enjoying the fall colors of a Mexican Bird of Paradise.
Today is “supposed” to be the last day of 100 plus temps this year!!!!! Low 90s tomorrow and heading into the upper 80s.
♥ That makes Phoenicians happy! ♥