Trapped in a Rabbit Hole

House Finches, immature

I disappeared for awhile…I’m in northern Indiana because my mother is in a rehab unit after a fall and we’re deciding where she will go afterwards. She wants to go back home so that is what we are hoping can happen.  I’m an only child and know next to nothing about this town or navigating any of these healthcare/assisted living/bureaucratic issues. It’s a sucky time all around, for sure.

So this was my yard before I left AZ. I miss my husband, my cats, my house, my birds, my friends, and Arizona. Tony is taking care of the kitties and birds. Someday I’ll be back…

Curve-billed Thrasher

To make matters even worse, my t-mobile hotspot that I have just for visiting Indiana (since my mother doesn’t have wifi) is not working well because t-mobile is upgrading their cell towers in this area so reception is sporadic and poor. Right now I’m using the next-door neighbor’s wifi (with permission) so it’s nice to be able to get online again.

Abert’s Towhee

European Starling

Northern Mockingbird

We have the quinfecta of doves in our yard:

Mourning Dove

White-winged Dove

Inca Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove

And my newest yard bird, #40 (although I’ve seen this bird around for quite awhile):

African Collared-Dove (Ringed Turtle Dove)

These birds are usually escaped captive birds that don’t do well in the wild but this one seems to be doing fine. There’s also a chance that it’s just a very pale Eurasian Collared-Dove but several birders ID’ed it as African Collared so I’m going with that.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Fiery Skipper

I hope to get out and go birding a couple times while I’m here but I don’t have my birding lens with me so I may have to rent one…the one I have with me just doesn’t work well for birds.

So…wish me luck, I hope things go smoothly and we can all get back to a more normal life pretty soon.

Sorry if I haven’t visited your blogs, I’ll be trying to do that in the next couple of days.

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Sharpshooter

verdin-sxgVerdin

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.

rb-sapsucker-1

rb-sapsucker-2

I stopped at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden on my way home and saw a few other critters (almost all in low light).

cottontail-sxg_edited-1Desert Cottontail

finch-11-19-16House Finch, male

mock-sxgNorthern Mockingbird

monarch-sxgMonarch Butterfly

mourning-dove-sxgMourning Dove

says-sxgSay’s Phoebe

starling-11-19-16European Starling

And back to my yard:

american-snout-11-19-16American Snout Butterfly

hum-11-22-16Anna’s Hummingbird, male

inca-doveInca Dove

This guy, thankful for nuts…

thrasher-nut-11-22-16_edited-1Curve-billed Thrasher

happy thanksgiving!

SXG

Hum Fly

Hum Fly 2Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Yesterday I went to Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden again. I’ve written about it before (1, 2, 3, 4). It’s only 5.5 acres but it’s really pretty and, this time of year, it’s very yellow. I didn’t have a wide-angle lens with me but here’s a sample:

Overview

And I got a Lifer! Isn’t he handsome?

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow 2Lincoln’s Sparrow

Finch 3.30.16

Finch OcotilloHouse Finches

CottontailDesert Cottontail

Starling on Sag

StarlingEuropean Starling

Anna'sAnna’s Hummingbird, male

Female HumCosta’s Hummingbird, female

Mock 3.30.16Northern Mockingbird

YRWA 3.30.16Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s

VerdinVerdin

And a little someone to keep them all on their toes:

Hawk

 

Early Spring at the DBG

Finch Cactus

Finch Minimalist

Finch Nest BuildHouse Finches

The cacti are not yet blooming but the birds and other critters are busy~singing, nest-building, flying, and running around at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Harris's antelope SquirrelHarris’s Antelope Squirrel

Ground Squirrel

SquirrelRound-tailed Ground Squirrels

Cactus WrenCactus Wren

Cactus

Anyone nesting in there? Guess not.

Gila WPGila Woodpecker

Starling SneezingEuropean Starling

This poor Starling kept sneezing, he must have spring allergies.

YRWA DBGYellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s

3 Hawks

Red-tailed HawkRed-tailed Hawks

There were 5 of these hawks circling together.

Mourning DoveMourning Dove

ThrasherCurve-billed Thrasher

RCKI DBG

RCKI DBG 2

RCKI DBG CrownRuby-crowned Kinglet

I know that’s a bad photo but it’s the first time I’ve actually seen the red crown on one of these very fast-moving birds.

BTGC 2

BTGCBlack-tailed Gnatcatcher

Sign 1

Sign 2

Sign 3

I’ll be spending more time at the DBG because I start my volunteer orientation there this weekend!

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Backyard Enticements

OCWA Orange 2 2.16.16

My favorite little model lately has been this Orange-crowned Warbler. It loves to eat the oranges I put out in the mesquite tree everyday. I’m afraid it will be leaving soon to migrate north as it’s been unseasonably warm here.

OCWA Orange 4 2.2.16

OCWA Orange 2.16.16

OCWA Orange 5 2.2.16

OCWA 2.9.15

I’ll miss this little cutie. The orange is a popular spot, though. Sometimes there’s a line.

Thrasher Orange 2Curve-billed Thrasher

Sparrow OrangeHouse Sparrow, male

Starling OrangeEuropean Starling

Verdin Orange 1.19.15

Verdin Orange 2.2.16Verdin

And two Verdins are building a nest in our pine tree. Verdins build several nests a year, some for breeding, some for roosting, so time will tell which it is.

Verdin 2.18.16

Verdin Pine 2

Verdin Pine

Nectar break:

Verdin 2.10.16

There’s also pink grapefruit out there sometimes but it’s not nearly as popular. But this little female House Finch likes it and there’s no waiting.

House Finch F 2.20.16

The birdbath is also a popular spot.

Mock Display 2.12.16

Mock Display 2Northern Mockingbird

TowheeAbert’s Towhee

Grackle Female copyGreat-tailed Grackle, female

And because I don’t want to encourage the birds to forage on the ground in harm’s way from the cats, I try to think up things I can feed them that won’t drop to the ground. Yum, pine cones coated in peanut butter is a new, delicious treat. You can add seed and suet but I’m not doing that. I don’t know how this will work when it’s 110 degrees but it’s working right now.

Pine Cone PB

Sparrow Pine Cone

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