Granite Reef

This beautiful Ladder-backed Woodpecker was busy excavating a hole in a mesquite tree when we were at Granite Reef Recreation Area on the Lower Salt River last week. This is the first time I’ve been able to get photos of one at eye level. He was not bothered by me at all and I got within 10 feet of him.

It was a big hole because he was able to get all the way inside.

Granite Reef is the best place to see Red Mountain. Its real name is Mount McDowell but everyone refers to it as Red Mountain because of the way it looks in the sunset. It was not quite sunset when this photo was taken. Red Mountain is on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation and is off limits to hikers, climbers, and photographers.

Western Kingbird

Vermilion Flycatcher, male

Say’s Phoebe

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Song Sparrow

We really went to try to find the Bald Eagles that nest there as well as a Peregrine Falcon who returns every year. We never saw the falcon and all our views of the eagles were from across the river. We did see two parents and there are two chicks in the nest. Bad photos…

This guy was up in the air the whole time we were there:

And, just as we were leaving, we were lucky enough to see five of the Salt River Wild Horses having a drink and snack right by the parking lot.

Out on a Limb

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Skip 8.24.15

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I’m out on a limb because today is the first day of my retirement after working 39 years for the same organization! I won’t have any personal income for another 10 months unless I take a part-time job but it should be okay anyway. Tony is still working for awhile and I have money saved just for this time.

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Skip 2 8.8.15

Verdin 8.28.15

So I plan to be out in nature more and seeing more birds, at more places. Hopefully, it will be all fun and no worries.

Skip 8.17.15

Today at Granada Park, I got another lifer, a Western Kingbird, so that is a fortuitous beginning to my new adventures. There were 2 of them but this one posed nicer:

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One of my bosses gave me this bracelet (with a Georgia O’Keeffe quote), below…always a good thought…

Take Time Cuff

Stripey Looking

“I’m looking…at birds and lizards.”

I Grass

“I’m looking at you with your dumb camera.”

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Bird House

For those days when I’m only backyard birding, I’ve added some new hummingbird feeders and props in hopes that the hummers and other birds will give me some pretty poses.

Hummer Swing