A Weekend of Bird Photography
This weekend I decided to stay home and see what birds I could attract to my campsite here at, and at the edge of, Gunsight Wash. This is a BLM dispersed camping area right on Route 85 just a little south of the village of Why. There is a lot of dense vegetation along the edges of the wash and I had a feeling it might prove to hold a lot of desert birds.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version, and I might suggest that you do for some of these larger versions are pretty nice, if I say so myself..
All of these images were actually taken from inside my motorhome, some taken through the glass when necessary, while others were shot through the open window after I removed the screen ( fortunately there are few bugs here ).
I did set out the hummingbird feeder in the closest Palo Verde tree and while it did attract a few Costa’s hummingbirds, it proved to be difficult to maintain as the verdins and the gila woodpeckers were determined to find a way to drink.
Only about 20 feet from the motorhome window was a dead saguaro cactus, it’s bare skeleton held erect by the remains of the skin on it’s upper branches, and this provided a great spot to hang out some oranges in an attempt to attract some gila woodpeckers, a bird I did not have any decent images of.
Turns out that almost all the birds here were interested in the oranges.
Took me a while to figure out just who he was, for this is a new bird to me, but this brown towhee was a regular visitor over the weekend,
and his more secretive cousin, the rufous sided towhee, also raced in and out first thing in the morning when there was never enough light to get a good shot.
This lone Gambel’s Quail showed up a few times, always alone, kind of an odd thing for this bird, always seen in flocks.
There were lots of house finches,
White crowned sparrows, as well as other unidentifiable ( by me anyhow ) sparrows, often as many as a couple dozen ground feeders in a t once.
But the star of the show was this male northern cardinal, without a doubt, the most perfect specimen of this species I have ever seen. He absolutely glowed, the most brilliant plumage I have ever seen on a cardinal.
He was very aggressive about chasing the female cardinal out anytime they both were here, which seemed a little odd,
so she was a little more of a challenge to capture since she was always forced to eat and run.
I finally did get a nice closeup shot of a tiny verdin.
A pair of antelope squirrels joined in downing the bounty here. They often were gathering seeds shoulder to shoulder with the birds, who exhibited no fear whatsoever of these small rodents.
And, of course, now I can say I have a few shots of the gila woodpecker.
It actually rained a little Saturday night, as in even hearing raindrops on the metal roof. The “Green Desert” the Sonoran, is going to now get even greener, as if that were possible.
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