November 11, 2018 Bend, Oregon

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

More Birds From the Hospital Parking Lots

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

Hopefully, this will be my last post from Bend, Oregon as it is getting quite chilly here in the morning, temps in the low 20’s and even dipping into the teens once in a while. I’m getting tired of scraping heavy frost off the Prius’ windows before heading out to appointments in the morning and the 70 degree temperatures outside of Yuma are looking pretty good right now.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

Wednesday is the first chemo treatment on my new bi-weekly schedule and if the numbers look right after that session, I plan to head south first thing Thursday morning. Was planning on driving down the California coast but with all the recent fires have decided to go inland down through Nevada.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

The parking lots at the St. Charles Hospital have many decorative crabapple trees  and birds other than the Cedar Waxwings appear to partake of the fruits of these trees.

Robin
Robin

In addition to the Waxwings, I have found Robins …

Nibbling
Nibbling

House Finches ( ? ) …

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

Goldfinches, and Northern Flickers hopping through the branches and picking off fruit..

Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings

The Waxwings, however, remain my favorite bird to chase here. A flock of around 30 birds frequents the area daily and I can just see them in the tops of the aspens up the road from my campsite. On weekends, when the hospital parking lots are mostly empty, when I see them fly in, I hop in the Prius and go out for some shots ( during the week, the parking lots are full and thus I can’t get the car anywhere near the trees where the birds are feeding, needing the car to serve as a blind as these guys are quite skittish ).

Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings

When the Waxwings get spooked from the trees near my campsite …

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk

… by creatures such as this sinister looking predator, I can usually follow the flock’s flight to trees in a different parking lot …

Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings

…where they settle in the tops of taller trees and check for predators before descending to the crabapple trees to feed.

Goldfinches Browsing on Aspen
Goldfinches Browsing on Aspen

Crabapples are not the only food source around the many parking lots as this flock of Goldfinches demonstrate …

Goldfinch Browsing on Aspen
Goldfinch Browsing on Aspen

…dining on the fruit of the birch tree.

Hopefully, my next blog post will be from somewhere on the road in Nevada as I head south to the LTVA north of Yuma, Arizona.

October 18, 2013 Espanola, New Mexico

Stellers jay
Stellers jay
Scrub jay
Scrub jay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Went into Sante Fe this morning and took Canyon Road out to the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary at the end of Upper Canyon Road. I took a hike on their trail that leads you through a few meadows and up into the Ponderosa Pine forest, but saw very little ( actually absolutely nothing ) in the way of bird activity.

Juvenile curve-billed thrasher
Juvenile curve-billed thrasher

 

Rufous Sided Towhee
Rufous Sided Towhee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, in the small flower garden right behind their visitor center, I did have some luck with some jays and a few other birds that were coming in to their feeders.

After an hour or so in the Audubon gardens, I decided, since our federal government has decided to reopen our parks, ( at least for the next couple of months before we get treated to another round of this farce ), to go on out to Las Vegas ( New Mexico, that is ) and check out the Las Vegas NWR. The refuge is touted as home to many species of ducks, as well as geese, sandhill cranes, and turkeys, as well as several types of raptors. The website states there are over 40 small ponds on the refuge and that the 8672 acre refuge overlaps 3 unique landscapes including the Rocky Mountains and eastern prairies. The refuge is also home to Rocky Mountain Elk.

Sharp shinned hawk
Sharp shinned hawk

Unfortunately, all that you can actually see from the the short loop road in the park are 2 small lakes and a lot of fenced off area beyond the edge of the road. Although I did see a couple of small groups of Sandhills in the distance and one sharp shinned hawk that did fly across the road in front of me, the opportunity to actually see anything on this refuge is very limited, a major disappointment for me after driving 100 miles ( roundtrip ) out of my way to visit. There were absolutely no ducks or geese on the 2 small lakes visible along the drive and, surprisingly, no small birds visible anywhere. Altogether, this visit was a major disappointment.

 

 

Scrub jay
Scrub jay
Stellers jay
Stellers jay
Scrub jay
Scrub jay

 

 

 

 

 

Stellers jay
Stellers jay
Yellow eyed junco
Yellow eyed junco
Stellers jay
Stellers jay