January 20, 2015 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff

Sitting Around Waiting for Appointments

I have to admit to getting a little bored sitting around here just north of Yuma. Still have a week or more to go since the HWH replacement hydraulic jack has yet to come in at Sun Bums, and my appointment for a lube and oil at Fisher Chevrolet is next Tuesday. Usually I can keep myself entertained by finding decent birding spots and settling in to do bird photography, but I just haven’t found any place around here where there is any decent action. Even my hummingbird attempts have had to be abandoned due to a steady assault of bees taking over my feeders. So, while I am anxious to head on down the road, I still have more time to kill here in Yuma.

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

The little golf course at Hidden Shores turns out to be a pretty reliable spot to consistently find these very colorful Vermillion Fly( moth? )catchers. This most likely is the same individual I got a few shots of a week ago on the same post. I found a couple more of them as I wandered into the horse pen/trailer storage area off the parking lot there as well. In the bottom image, you can see him shaking the” moth chalk” off his lunch before downing him.

Canvasback takeoff
Canvasback takeoff

This is a new one for me, a canvasback duck, caught taking flight from the waters of the All American Canal in Bard, Ca., about 10 miles west of where I am presently staying.

Takeoff!
Takeoff!

He was accompanied by a pair of Ring-necked ducks and a Bufflehead drake as well as several other Ring-necks. This part of the canal is one of the few places I have seen any sizable number of ducks gathering, but, unfortunately, one is not able to get terribly close to them as the canal is fringed with a dense cover of phragmites and there are No Trespassing signs all along the canal.

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck and canvasbacks
Ringneck and canvasbacks

Still, it was nice to be able to at least have an attempt at getting some action shots after such a long period of inactivity. I am really looking forward to heading east and up in elevation to some of the better birding locations in Arizona as soon as I am done with all my appointments here in Yuma.

Ringnecks and canvasbacks
Ringnecks and canvasbacks

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When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


My blog posting problems finally resolved? I believe ( I am keeping my fingers crossed ) that my ability to do blog posts in a timely manner has finally, after a month of frustration, been resolved. For those of you who follow this blog, you may have to re- bookmark the page to this new address:    ramcquade.com

January 7, 2015 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

A Few Birds and a Lot of Lettuce

I took an afternoon drive out to explore the Mittry Lake boondocking area to see if I might want to move down there rather than do another 14 day, $40 stay here at the LTVA. On the way to the Mittry Lake Road I decided to go check out the Laguna Dam Road that leads into a really tiny golf course alongside the dam and the Hidden Shores Village RV Park.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

I encountered this bright little Vermillion flycatcher hopping from post to post on the lookout for dinner on the edge of the golf course. Also was about to get a nice shot of a meadowlark hunting in the short grass of the golf course when he was scared off by an errant drive. I definitely will have to come back in here early some morning as there appear to be a few colorful birds hanging around this tiny oasis.

It is about a 5 or 6 mile drive down a wide, but washboarded, dusty dirt road to the area where boondocking is permitted along the road and along the shore of Mittry Lake. It looks like all the good sites are occupied that I could see, though there may be more setback from the road that I did not explore. Guess I will just stay where I am here in the LTVA while I have more solar work and general maintenance work done on the motorhome.

Happy Campers?
Happy Campers?

A couple of “happy campers”

Speaking of the Imperial Dam LTVA, I ran into these two happy campers ( I am assuming they are happy, after finding shade in the treeless desert on a rather warm day ) on my way down to check out the “ Liberry “ in the LTVA, an old Airstream trailer, loaded to the rafters with paperbacks, sorted by genre and author. On the honor system you are allowed to take out up to 6 books and return them when done, nothing to sign, no agreement to even bring them back, something you don’t encounter everyday.

Desolate and visually unappealing as this place may be, after 2 weeks here, it is starting to grow on me a little. It is quiet, the people are almost universally considerate, the dump station/ water filling/ trash facility, that I had occassion to use is well laid out and convenient, and the $40 for 14 days is not too bad a price either. My only complaint at this time is that I had to take in my hummingbird feeders after the bees discovered them finally and completely took them over, doing away with my hummingbird photography.

After driving through the Mittry Lake boondocking area, I decided to keep going down the road to see where it came out, rather than backtracking the 6 miles of dusty road I came in on. The road becomes the paved Laguna Dam Road not too far south of Mittry Lake and that becomes Avenue 7E that connects with Route 95 on the east side of Yuma.

Yuma agricultural fields
Yuma agricultural fields

This road took me through a small portion of the extensive agricultural fields in the area and I had the chance to take a few photos of the lettuce fields,

Baby lettuce
Baby lettuce

from new seedlings,

Why the mighty Colorado River no longer makes it to the ocean
Why the mighty Colorado River no longer makes it to the ocean

to established fields being heavily watered,

Lettuce harvest assembly line
Lettuce harvest assembly line

to a crew harvesting an older crop, and all the stages in between as the plantings are staggered to produce continuous harvests.

Lettuce harvest assembly line
Lettuce harvest assembly line

A colorful scene, might just become a watercolor some day!

Great egret patrolling the lettuce fields
Great egret patrolling the lettuce fields

Along this road, I also encountered pest control measures employed by these huge farms, both amongst the crops,

Snowy egrets
Snowy egrets

and along the irrigation canals that border these fields.

My blog posting problems finally resolved?

As of this post, I believe ( I am keeping my fingers crossed ) that my ability to do blog posts in a timely manner has finally, after a month of frustration, been resolved. For those of you who follow this blog, you may have to re- bookmark the page to this new address:    ramcquade.com

 

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

March 31, 2014 S. Llano River State Park, Texas

3 Tom Turkeys
The morning commute to work

Early morning turkey hunt yielded a couple of shots down by the old barn in the park.

The day started out solidly cloudy but by 1 PM the skies were blue and the temps were again in the upper 80’s but without the nice breeze of the last couple of days.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Rio Grande turkey
Rio Grande turkey
Two Tom Turkeys
Two Toms

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms

 

 

 

 

 

When I see these two guys strutting and dancing around with each other, I guess trying to impress the ladies, even when there are none in sight, I can’t help but think of the old Saturday Night Life routine of Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd, the ” two wild and craaaazy guys! ”

Nashville warbler
Nashville warbler
Orange crowned warbler
Orange crowned warbler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walked into the Acorn Blind around 8 AM and did get a couple of new birds for me, the Nashville Warbler and the orange-crowned warbler. Not great images, but they are newbies.

Lincoln sparrow
Lincoln sparrow

This Lincoln Sparrow also was a new one to me.

Audubon Warbler
Audubon Warbler
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing

Kind of an interesting pose for this cedar waxwing.

Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing

 

 

 

 

 

Carolina wren bath
Carolina wren bath

 

Carolina wren bath
Carolina wren bath

 

Carolina wren drying after bath
Carolina wren drying after bath

 

Carolina wren drying after bath
Carolina wren drying after bath

I know the Carolina Wren is a pretty common bird, but for some reason this tiny, hyperactive guy always gets me unable to resist snapping away.

Fox squirrel
Fox squirrel

And lastly, always an unwelcome visitor around a feeding station, this fox squirrel’s coloring warranted at least one shot. A pest, but an attractive one.

The campground has really emptied out this AM, but I went online while at the library to check on this coming weekend in case I wanted to stay and it is completely booked solid Friday and Saturday, a harbinger of what I am apt to run into everywhere this coming summer.

Went to the Junction Library to do some posts and check on end of month financial stuff, but really don’t enjoy attempting to get a PC to work properly. I’ll be glad to get somewhere with Verizon coverage soon.

March 25, 2014 S. Llano River State Park

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

 

Images From the Acorn Blind

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

A nice brisk morning so as soon as there was any light, I walked down to the Acorn Blind here in the campground. The bird activity there was pretty good and steady all AM.

In the afternoon I checked out the other three blinds in the park and decided that the Acorn Blind is the one. There seemed to be the same birds at all four blinds, but a greater number and variety at the Acorn Blind. Also, that blind is the only one that has a seat to use at the one open window you can shoot through.

I was told I missed the turkeys displaying by the office building this AM. I have yet to see even one turkey here.

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

Once again, I am posting this entry on a PC in the Junction library, so I apologize for the image sizing and spacing problems, but I just can’t get WordPress to operate properly like it does on my Imac in the RV.

 

Pine siskin
Pine siskin
Black crested titmouse
Black crested titmouse
Black crested titmouse bath
Black crested titmouse bath
Black crested titmouse
Black crested titmouse
Spotted towhee
Spotted towhee
White winged dove
White winged dove
White winged dove
White winged dove
White winged dove
White winged dove
Ground dove
Ground dove
Northern cardinal drinking
Northern cardinal drinking
Female northern cardinal
Female northern cardinal
Northern cardinal drinking
Northern cardinal drinking
Black throated sparrow
Black throated sparrow
Black throated sparrow
Black throated sparrow
Female black chinned hummer
Female black chinned hummer
Chipping sparrow
Chipping sparrow
Bathing chipping sparrow
Bathing chipping sparrow
Chipping sparrow
Chipping sparrow
House finch
House finch
House finch drinking
House finch drinking
House finch
House finch
House finch
House finch