We have now realized that frost is a reality – and snow! Here’s what we saw out our window the other day:
We have had to scrape the car most mornings this week. One of the fellows I talked to here said he just waits until it warms up before going out! Ha! Not if you’re a birder!
On a rather somber note, the lovely Hepatic Tanager we put in our blog earlier was seen taken by a hawk at the feeder in Madera Canyon the other day. (…sigh…) Mother Nature…
Feb. 17: Visited a new area just west of here – Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. The first walking trail borders the small town of Arivaca & is wheelchair accessible, so a lovely smooth walk along creeks & water. Lots of birds including the very gorgeous Pyrrhuloxia (another great-named bird, like the Phainopepla). Here are a couple of shots of a male:
We also found a beautiful tree (maybe oak?), not yet in leaf:
The day was so beautiful, we decided to go again – and include a drive to Lake Arivaca (which was a disappointment, since it was so low). But there were beautiful pink & green rock formations in the hills:
Feb. 18: Drove back to Buenos Aires NWR, took a short walk through the creek area & stopped at another trail by a dry creek – not much activity. Headed further west & south to the Antelope Driving Loop, where we were looking for 4 types of Quail: Montezuma, Scaled, Gambel’s & Masked Bobwhite (which was nearly extinct, but is coming back due to the establishment of this wildlife area). They used to roam a large area of northern Mexico & southern Arizona. We didn’t see any quail at all, but quite a few other species, including one of the widest ranging birds in NA – Horned Lark:
We’ve now had two “home” days – with laundry, cleaning & Billwork. Weather sunny yesterday but very windy – rainy & snow today. Heavy snow at times (photo at the top). At least there is time for reading. I’ve been enjoying my “escape” books – this time Anne Perry’s detective novels with Thomas & Charlotte Pitt. I’ve read over 20 of the nearly 30 in this series. Bill’s escape is sci-fi. We’ve also been watching the TV series “Enterprise” (which we purchased before we left) – the prequel to Star Trek. What fun!
We did however, head off to Patagonia to look for the elusive (& yes, still elusive) trogon. Here are a couple of shots of the snow as we headed to the lake:
Once the sun was up for awhile, it melted most of the snow, so it was pleasant to walk at the Nature Conservancy lands where we saw the Javelinas munching on the watercress (yes, I finally found out what the green plant was growing in the stream).
Feb. 22: Drove into Tucson to visit the Desert Museum at Saguaro National Park – sort of like a zoo. We don’t have an easy time enjoying animals who are caged, but still were inspired by the beautiful wild cats – Bobcat & Mountain Lion:
The Cactus Wrens (not caged) were out in full force, singing to beat the band & boy can they make noise! They are the largest & one of the prettiest wrens in NA so I can’t resist including this photo of one poking & poking at this hard seed which always bounced away. He must’ve tried 10 times until he finally gave up to find something else to eat!
It was wonderful to see the jewel-like hummingbirds in the apiary – Costa’s & Anna’s:
Feb. 23: Freezing overnight again – more scraping of car windows! But we just drove 10 minutes down the road to Tubac to the De Anza trail where we found quite a few species including a pair (m & f) of Hepatic Tanagers! At the top of this blog I wrote about my sorrow hearing a hawk had taken one at the feeder in Madera Canyon, HOWEVER, we ran into a man who saw one there just the other day. So there are more – YAY! Bill also took this photo of the darling Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (4 1/2″). They flit about and hardly ever sit long enough to have their photo taken.
We also stopped at Paton’s feeders where this lovely, colorful array of birds was displayed (top l-rL White-crowned Sparrow, Lazuli Bunting – bottom l-r” House Finch, White-cr. sparrow).
So we’ve been having a good time despite the weather. My Bill is such a great photographer eh? Only a few more days until we move to Benson!