Hummingbirds and a trip into KOFA NWR
Above is a shot of my new location at the Mile Marker 99 BLM 14 day stay area just south of Quartzsite on Route 95. I am really enjoying this spot, more than the other two 14 day BLM areas north of town. Very quiet, not that many neighbors, good hard surfaced, level campsites, and several minor washes that run through the site so there is a fair amount of vegetation here…
…so that means there are hummingbirds here also. And yesterday I got serious about trying to get some decent shots and set up my feeder in the wash amongst the saguaros and small trees only a few feet from my door. By mounting my feeder quite low and shooting slightly down at the birds I was able to get the out of focus, uncluttered desert floor to serve as a non intrusive background for these shots.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.
These shots are all taken with my 600mm lens and I am positioned as close to the feeder as I can get and still be able to focus the 600 lens, about 15 feet.
Quite a bit of difference in the quality of these two shots, compared to the previous ones, once again taken through the windshield of the motorhome like the shots in the last post. I have no idea why, but the Anna’s hummingbirds only come to the feeder when it is on the front of the motorhome, while the Costa’s come to it wherever I put it.
Checking out KOFA NWR
Just a short distance from this campsite are two roads off Route 95 that go into the KOFA National Wildlife Management Area. The first one leads into the Crystal Hills area and I took the very dusty, very washboarded dirt road in about 7 miles hoping to find some desert bighorn sheep, the main highlight of this area. They claim to have a population of 700-800 sheep in the refuge, but the refuge is huge, and the odds of seeing sheep along the few roads in the refuge are still pretty small, and I did not beat the odds.
After jostling myself back out to Route 95, I drove 5 miles farther down the highway and headed back in to the refuge on MST & T Road, AKA Signal Hill Road. This dirt road was a little easier on the car until you reached the last mile or so where it ascends Signal Hill where you get a modest overlook of the desert, but still no bighorns. That last mile or so was tough sledding for my Prius, probably better suited for something with a little higher clearance. I sure do abuse this little car!
I close with another shot from this mornings sunrise. Just love this place!
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