Phoenix 150

Rosy-faced Lovebird, juvenile

Gila Woodpecker

House Finch family

Brown-headed Cowbird

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.

 

Winter’s Over Here

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.

Orange-crowned Warbler

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.

White-crowned Sparrow

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.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Rosy-faced Lovebirds

House Finches, male and female

Anna’s Hummingbirds, male and female

Gila Woodpecker, male

Northern Mockingbird

House Sparrow, female

Verdins

Curve-billed Thrasher

Migration will be in full swing soon so I hope to see some new and exciting birds.

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The Festivities Begin…

thrasher-antlersCurve-billed Thrasher (being a Grinch)

santa-verdinVerdin

says-phoebe-ornamentSay’s Phoebe

Everywhere I go, the birds seem to be really getting into the holiday spirit this year…that’s a good thing.

Starlings in Cactus with ornament_edited-2European Starlings

Christmas Mocks psNorthern Mockingbirds

Lovebird with lightsRosy-faced Lovebird

Let It SnowCosta’s Hummingbird, female

DSC_8054_edited-2Verdin Nest

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…

cardinal

Assorted Fall Birds

Muscovy

Muscovy HeadshotMuscovy Duck

WigeonAmerican Wigeon, female

Ring-Necked DuckRing-Necked Duck, drake

Lovebird 3

LovebirdRosy-Faced Lovebird

Mock Lantana 10.18.15Northern Mockingbird

H 10.14.15Anna’s Hummingbird, male

YRWAYellow-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:

GH 2

GH 1

GH Babe Peeking

And this is a Pied-Billed Grebe adolescent:

Grebe 1

Grebe

Fall’s in full swing here, finally!

Fall at the Parks

Says 2_edited-1

Says 6_edited-2

Says 4_edited-1Say’s Phoebe

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:

YRWA_edited-1Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Audubon’s

Cactus WrenCactus Wren

A few miles down the road, at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, a few more birds let me photograph them.

Gila 2

Gila 3

GilaGila Woodpecker, male

MockNorthern Mockingbird

DSC_4954_edited-1Rosy-Faced Lovebird

DSC_4962Tree Lizard

GrackleGreat-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.

Hum 1

Hum 2

Hum 3

Today is “supposed” to be the last day of 100 plus temps this year!!!!! Low 90s tomorrow and heading into the upper 80s.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.11.29 AM

♥ That makes Phoenicians happy! ♥