~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ (near Tucson), November, 2017
I am excited to add a new bird sighting to my Life List. Number 388, a cute Dusky Flycatcher.
This Dusky Flycatcher, migrating south, visited our RV site, at Catalina State Park, for several days; continually searching for insects in the Mesquite trees.
I am writing this post from Lafayette, Louisiana, arriving today after spending three nights in Beaumont, TX. The birding at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont was wonderful! We met some expert birds while out on the pier, giving us some great advice on birding along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. Wouldn’t it be fun to attend a couple “Birding Counts” in this area?
Hopefully, next winter we can spend a few weeks down on the Texas Gulf Coast birding. Yeah!!
I am so far behind in posting; hopefully I will catch up soon. I have a few more photos from Catalina State Park to share, and photos from Rock Hound State Park in Deming New Mexico; South Llano River State Park in Junction, TX; McKinney Falls State Park near Austin; and Cattail Marsh in Beaumont.
Howard and I are enjoying our journey…. meeting with friends along the way, eating some delicious food (we had Crawfish Étouffée for lunch) and persuing our hobbies as best we can on the road. I even got to play a couple hours of Pickleball with friends in Austin, which made me extremely happy.
We haven’t seen rain for many, many weeks; I bet we will see some very soon!
~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017
Don’t you just love these tiny birds?
I believe these are Anna’s Hummingbirds. Without the light highlighting the colors of the head and throat it is hard to tell. The Costa’s is smaller, short-tailed and has more white on the chest. I spent quite a bit of time trying to correctly ID these hummers. If anyone has any thoughts on ID, please let me know.
It was sure fun observing and trying to capture them with my camera. The bees sure did give them grief.
~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017
The very first day, when camping, at Catalina State Park, I saw this Hummingbird. What caught my attention was a flash of red on the bill. Oh my, a red bill! I knew I had to purchase a hummingbird feeder.
While on a walk one morning, I saw a lady walking with binoculars around her neck. I stopped and asked her if she had seen the Broad-billed. She was excited to hear that I might have seen it, but stated that she hadn’t. She told me her husband went on the ranger guided birding walk that morning and they hadn’t mentioned seeing it. She felt sure she would have heard if it had been spotted. She was a sweet, elderly lady who would stop and share birding information with us when she saw us walking. I will remember her fondly.
I noticed an RV with bird feeders hanging from the trees at their site. I stopped and asked if they had seen a hummingbird with a red bill. “Yes, she exclaimed, I have noticed it at the feeders.”
Okay, at least I had a confirmation. Turns out that, through their blog, I knew this couple. I had read their blog many times, but had never met them. What fun! We enjoyed a couple of happy hours together and hope to see them again down the road.
I spent one week trying to capture this hummer with my camera. It was very shy, highly protective of the hummingbird feeder, and would sit hidden in the mesquite tree. After the first week, I didn’t see it anymore; I don’t know if it continued on its migration path or was chased off by other hummers.
I was thrilled to have this gorgeous hummingbird visit my hummingbird feeder.
Back in 2009, I saw this Hummer for the first time while visiting the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
It is nice to have internet connectivity again. After leaving Catalina State Park we spent four nights over the Thanksgiving holiday at South Llano River State Park. Verizon just doesn’t work there at all.
These are the final bird photos from Cave Creek Regional Park in Cave Creek, Arizona. Up next photos from Catalina State Park.
Phainopepias, always sitting at the top of a bush or tree making it hard to get a good photo. The male is glossy black, and has a white wing patch that is visible when it flies; the female is plain gray and has a lighter gray wing patch. Both sexes have red eyes, but these are more noticeable in the female than the male.
~Cave Creek Regional Park, Cave Creek, AZ, November 2017
Only 4.5 inches in length it is a tiny little bird. They are tough and thrive in hot desert environments. It is among the most characteristic birds of the desert, and it has one notable distinction: it is not closely related to any other bird in the western hemisphere.
It is not only tiny and tough, but it is beautiful with its bright yellow head and rufous shoulder patches.
The tiny Verdin, a gleaner of small insects and spiders from the foliage of desert vegetation, is most notable for its nest-building behavior. In addition to breeding nests, Verdins also build individual roosting nests whose insulation allows them to survive cold winter nights.
Verdins spend the night in their roosting nests, smaller versions of their breeding nest, but the birds still lose an average of 7% of their body mass during a winter night. Roosting nests may be built any time of the year and the interwoven twig structures may remain attached to a bush or tree for years. (some information taken from various birding web-sites)
NOTE: Thanks to Gay and her blog at good-times-rollin for mentioning in a blog she wrote about setting out an orange for the Verdins. Thank you Gay! Go to her blog by clicking – Here
The Verdins loved the oranges. Try as I might, I wasn’t able to capture one of these birds in a more natural environment at Cave Creek. Hopefully, I might have one at Catalina State Park. It was so much fun watching the Verdins.