A Cold January

Model in the Mesquite
Orange-crowned Warbler Framed
Orange-crowned Warbler
As the Sun Set...
Eating Cara Cara Oranges

It’s been a cold January in Phoenix…not as cold as the midwestern or eastern parts of the U.S. but consistently colder than usual, day after day. I was excited to see this Orange-crowned Warbler in our yard and thought maybe it was the one that wintered with me for several years, excluding last winter, but now I’m not so sure. She seems to have moved on after a couple weeks of eating jelly and oranges. I’m hoping she returns…such a cute little thing. Maybe she was too cold and headed south.

I make sure the food is out everyday so they can keep fueled. Here are a few more January visitors: a White-crowned Sparrow digging up some dirt, Verdin, Anna’s Hummingbirds, a Rosy-faced Lovebird, Northern Mockingbird looking for peanuts, and A Curve-billed Thrasher showing off. I also have 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the yard but they are very skittish and my photos are not good…hoping to get them soon.

Diggin' Up Some Dirt
Verdin
Anna's Fly
Anna's Female Flying
High Key Hummer
Anna's Hummingbird
Rosy-faced Lovebird, immature
Goin' for the Nuts
Curve-billed Thrasher in the Pines

I actually went to a couple places looking for birds but I don’t want to bore you with too many shots so I may make a catch-up post in a few days and show you some of those.

For now, here is a shot of the moon last night, January 30. I’m hoping to see the green comet in the next few days but I don’t have the sort of equipment to get a good photo of it. Somewhere around the Little Dipper…

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

February 2022

I started this blog on February 13, 2009…so 13 years of blogging…but it has gotten sparser and sparser as the years have gone by. Initially, I posted almost daily, then down to 3 times a week, then weekly, then a couple times a month and now I try to do it at least monthly. I know people don’t read blogs as often anymore and there is other social media that is more immediate but I do it sort of for myself, too, so I can look back and remember what was going on at a certain time in my life. But I do thank anyone who still reads this. So here is a jumble of photos I’ve taken since my last post. More birds~House Sparrow female, White-crowned Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Curve-billed Thrasher, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Gila Woodpecker male, House Finch male, Anna’s Hummingbird male.

And cats…these are the indoor cats…Ferguson, the most cooperative, Torti, the least cooperative, and Bouche, who still can’t totally let go of the outdoor life. He’s a dasher. There are several outdoor kitties, too.

Hope to see you in March!!!!!

Random Stuff

Three hosers: Abert’s Towhee, Northern Mockingbird, White-crowned Sparrow.

Wintering Orange-crowned Warbler, “Tink”
Rosy-faced Lovebird
Lesser Goldfinch, female
Gambel’s Quail, male and female

I was surprised to see 8 quail in our yard the other day! That is only the second time I’ve seen them in our yard, which is not the typical place to find them. They hung around off and on that day, nibbling on various things, and I haven’t seen them since.

Here are a few more from my pandemic-driven “Anthropomorphizing Birds” series. They feature one of the 2 Curve-billed Thrashers, one of the 2 Abert’s Towhees, or one of the 2 Northern Mockingbirds that hang out in our yard and will work for peanuts. The whole album, to date, can be seen here on Flickr.

And here’s a little Inca Dove. The’ve been very plentiful lately, which is good, as they had been scarce in the Phoenix area for awhile but they’re back!

I was listening to NPR today and they were talking about a book called Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You). Remember when almost everybody had a blog? I guess that’s sort of “out,” now but, since I don’t want to have a podcast, I guess I’ll stick with blogging now and then. How about you?

A Colorful Yard

Anna’s Hummingbird, male

Some people think the desert is brown and boring and our birds are brown and colorless. It’s just not true! Here are pics from our yard in the last few days…

Tiny Birds of Yellow

Above are a Pine Siskin, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Verdin, Lesser Goldfinch female, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lesser Goldfinch male, and Orange-crowned Warbler. They are all only 4-4.5 inches long.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds (the young ones have black on their bills and less vivid coloring on their faces)

White-crowned Sparrow

Honeybee on Sage and Lavender

Mr. White, an unusually marked House Finch

My sweet little Orange-crowned Warbler, “Tink”

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female

Inca Doves (there were over 22 in the yard that day)

And guess what? We had snow in Phoenix on January 25! We’ve seen it in the mountains around town and a light dusting now and then but nothing like this storm!

So the desert is not all brown…and we haven’t even started spring yet when everything here bursts into color!

Escape to Gilbert

Mexican Amberwing on Amaranth

I escaped my quarantine the other day, in the late afternoon, for a couple of hours. I went to the Gilbert Riparian Preserve where I go about once a year. I should really go more often as there is an extreme diversity of all sorts of birds…water birds, songbirds, raptors, and always a rarity or 2. I went in pursuit of a rarity this time. I had seen literally hundreds of photos of a Roseate Spoonbill that has been there for a few weeks in my Facebook birding group. Most of the photos were so pretty, up close, so you could see its pink feathered fluffiness in detail. Well, I didn’t get there until about 4pm and I heard it had left for the day so I walked around looking, to no avail, but saw a lot of other birds. About 6pm, as it was getting dark, disappointed, I headed back to my car and saw it in a different pond than those it usually frequents! It was out quite a ways and it was getting dark so I didn’t get those pretty, detailed photos that I had seen from other people. But I saw it and it was awesome and it was a new life bird (lifer)! And I have proof:

It has giant black feet! This is not a bird that you find in Arizona normally. It likes Florida and Texas and other Gulf coasts. Actually, right now there are also 3 more of them at Glendale Recharge Ponds, too, on the completely opposite side of town. I would love to go see them and if it ever cools off here before they leave, I am going to go look for them, too.

But here are a few more of the birds I saw before finding it…

Great Egrets

Great Blue Herons

Green Heron

Snowy Egret

This beautiful red amaranth was all over; I had never seen it there before.

Mallard in Amaranth

Now for some songbirds…

Yellow-rumped Warblers (last photo indicates source of name)

Say’s Phoebe
White-crowned Sparrow
Vermilion Flycatcher, immature male, SO CUTE!
Orange-crowned Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler

Different than my yard birds! This makes me want to get back out there birding after this intense heat we have had, much longer than usual, and this horrible quarantine we’re in!!!! It was nice to have a change of scenery…