A Birdy Day

Those are Sandhill Cranes! My excellent birder friend, Karen, and I went birding the other day to Buckeye and Arlington, west of Phoenix, and had a very birdy day seeing at least 49 species and well over 1,000 birds. We saw 58 Sandhill Cranes in an agricultural field and this year we were able to get close enough to get decent photos. That alone was an awesome experience…but wait, there’s more…

Red-tailed Hawk

Vesper Sparrow
Loggerhead Shrike

Western Meadowlarks

We saw a Great Blue Heron rookery with many flying in and out. These 2 were on a nest together:

Long-billed Curlews in a flock of about 150

Burrowing Owl
Immature Bald Eagle

American Pipits

It’s very lush and pretty out in the agricultural fields, not something you usually associate with the Phoenix desert. I got 2 lifers, the Curlews as well as a Prairie Falcon that I only saw but did not photograph. We had a great birding experience.

Back to the Verde

The Verde River in Tonto National Forest
Running Fast and Furious
Black Phoebe
Cooper’s Hawk
Desert Broom
Not if you’re a birder…

We last went to the Verde River in early December 2017 when the fall colors were far more vivid. I guess we went a little too early this year and the birds were not cooperative either. We didn’t even see horses like we did that time. Oh, well, can’t complain too much because it was still very pretty…

Here and There

Fall in Phoenix

Painted Lady
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
House Sparrow, female
Curve-billed Thrasher
Abert’s Towhee
Lesser Goldfinch
House Finch, male
Fiery Skipper
Painted Lady
Monarchs and Painted Lady

Fall in South Bend, Indiana

St. Joseph River
St. Patrick’s County Park

I just got back from a week in South Bend. The only time I was able to get away to a park I forgot my camera and had to use my cell phone! Fortunately, I did not see any good birds while there…

My First

Tarantella

Ugh, after living in Arizona for 45 years and going out in the wild fairly often, I finally saw my very first tarantula lumbering along a path we were on at Seven Springs. Interesting yet creepy to this arachnophobe. Of course, we did not get in its way.

One of my friends said she saw her first tarantula in the wild at the same place several years ago. Just a little earlier, I had mentioned to Tony that I thought the area seemed “tarantula-y.”

creek

Other Side Creek

View from Spot

Escape

Tree Trunk

Moon_edited and HawkRed-tailed Hawk

Not a very birdy day.

Dfly

Dfly 2Variegated Meadowhawks

Purple Flower

More Tree

Phainopepla Tree

Phainopeplas

Phainopepla Male

Phainopepla FemaleTrees of Phainopeplas

Previous Seven Springs’ posts (1, 2, 3).

Back to the Woods

Untitled_Panorama1_edited-1

Woods Canyon Lake, east of Payson, that is. It’s one of our favorite places but we hadn’t been there yet this year. It didn’t disappoint and the temperature was 70°! We saw some areas of the lake we hadn’t seen before.

WCL Boat

WC Other Area

Some of the animals appreciated the peanuts (and a little popcorn) we brought for them.

Chippy Stripes

GC ChipmunkGray-collared Chipmunk

Puffy Cheeks

Puffy Cheeks 2Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Chipmunks have stripes through their faces, squirrels do not.

Hermit Thrush bokeh

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush JuvieHermit Thrushes (last one is a juvenile)

Okay, I’m sorry, I have way too many photos of the following birds but they were so loudly excited about the peanuts and so pretty that I couldn’t stop. I still have way more; maybe a post featuring just them will be forthcoming:

STJA Wings

STJA Windy

STJA Sun

STJA Green

STJA Rock Grayer

STJA RockSteller’s Jays

Almost as raucous as the jays were several of these guys:

Raven

Raven Rock

Raven 4

Raven 1Common Ravens

FlickerGilded Flicker

Hint of Fall

Red LeafA Hint of Fall

Shroom

Pine Root_edited-1

Pines and Bushes

Awesome, as always, to be back in the woods.