2013 Draws to a close

Only another week and a bit to the end of the year.  Will we find a lifer before it’s over?  If not – better luck next year!

Sunday it was a cold morning but sunny, after a couple days of rain, clouds and cool temps.  High today 12 C, so we set out about 9 AM for Tubac to look once again for the wren.  We were thrilled with our first view this year of a Vermillion Flycatcher glowing in the trees.

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We spent over an hour along the area where the wren has been seen (and heard singing!) – but no luck this time.  We had a nice view of a Verdin today – where it wasn’t stretched a bit out of proportion, like the last shot.  Not often do you see the little reddish shoulder patch.

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There was actually quite a bit of activity today, so we enjoyed searching through a myriad of birds to see if we could find the wren.  Even saw a Bewick’s Wren which looks very much like the Sinaloa – but no luck.  On our way out a lovely Kestrel sat for its photo.

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We then drove to Santa Gertrudis Lane, which often has lots of activity.  We found Rufous-winged Sparrows and got a shot of one this time.

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Another favourite is the Green-tailed Towhee.  This time we have 2 shots:  the first showing his head and face; the second showing his green tail (if anyone had any doubts).

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Monday we had to go grocery shopping, so headed for Madera Canyon (specifically Florida) to see if we could get any better shots of the warbler.  It was -2C and very frosty when we headed out – had to scrape the truck windows – but promised to be sunny and high of 19C!  

We found a rather shy species perched low in the bushes.  Don, this one’s for you – Bill says if you can identify it, we’ll take you birding in the spring!  (We’re pretty sure you can!)

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We had no luck this time but had a lovely view of a Cooper’s Hawk just ahead of us above the trail on the way out.  He sat for quite awhile as we approached, so got a fairly close shot.  They aren’t usually so cooperative and I love the Prickly Pear cactus beside him (or her).

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As we left, we searched the sides of the road for Montezuma’s – saw a Greater Roadrunner but couldn’t get a photo.  The only guy who sat for us was a Loggerhead Shrike.

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Christmas was another beautiful day, but Bill did some work.  We had his favourite for breakfast – biscuits & syrup (not gravy) with bacon.  A rare treat!  Then we watched Alastair Sim’s “A Christmas Carol”.  I cried several times, as usual.  Dinner was ham & scalloped potatoes – then Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” (more tears).  All in all a lovely day filled with the Christmas spirit!

No more birding this year, but my friend Rosemary, inspired me to post the following, since she didn’t realize mistletoe grew in America.  It’s everywhere (many different types I think), but here’s   some in a tree, then a bit closer.  Taken with my phone – hence poor quality.

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And so, 2013 ends with a kiss!  HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone who reads this blog!

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