Where to begin? Do I write about the fabulous camping trips? Maybe the Christmas Bird Count, Gnatcatcher birding with Chris and Rich, my trips to Gilbert Water Ranch and SweetWater Wetlands, the newest yard birds or the lifers I've seen this year? Gosh, so many topics and so little time.
Truthfully, I have a hard time focusing when I'm watching the Curve-billed Thrasher enjoying the freshly filled feeders. He was just a baby last year. Also, I hear chatter of the Hooded Orioles, a single peep from the male Ladder-backed Woodpecker and the squabble of a thousand House Sparrows in the pyracantha. Focus, focus...
Before I began to blog, I made some snacks for the birds. We had a full tree of oranges and with so many left over I'd been thinking of ways to share them. In the past, I've just cut them open and stuck the oranges hither, tither and yar. They end up overturned and filled with debris. Here is my newest solution.
Woodpeckers, Orioles, and Verdins will peck at this for days. The beads are multifunctional as they will secure the fruit and keep a bird from getting it's eye poked out. Side note: I made those beads in ceramics class many years ago, so I'm glad they are getting some use too. Maybe when we retire I can make these bird feeders for a living? Hmm...I'll have to give that some more thought.
Okay, back to the updates.
Homer (my hummer) is still here and very happy. His son and wife have been here also. We have some handsome Broad-bills and several Anna's. Currently, we've had the most hummingbird traffic we've ever experienced. A true count is rather difficult but my guess is over 15 individual birds, possibly a result of adding more stations with five total.
When it comes to head counts, the yard list is running in the high fifties. (At the bottom of this post I'll give a species account). Among the favorites are a lone Hermit Thrush, a Summer Tanager, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Lazuli Bunting and record breaking Dickcissel. My least favorites are White-winged Doves, European Starlings, and House Sparrows. Life is usually learning to take the good with the bad, even in my birding addiction.
Another exciting update: My tailless Abert's Towhee (from a previous post) was just here and over half of her tail has grown back. I will try and get a photo soon.
Well, I think this about ends the updates for now. Let me dig up a list of yard birds and start on a new post! Again, sorry for the delay in writings. I will try and do better in the future. Until then...happy birding!
If there is a topic you'd prefer to read about leave me a comment and I'll get right on it!
Gambel's Quail, Great Egret (fly over) Turkey Vulture, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Harris's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon, Rock Pigeon (1), White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Barn Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Rufous Humminbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, Black Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Hutton's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Bewick's Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Summer Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's), Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, Lazuli Bunting, Great-tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow. Rare alert list: Dickcissel.