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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Last Look at Madera Canyon

Before deserting the Santa Rita Lodge at Madera Canyon for Sierra Vista today,  I doddered around the birdie feeders. So I thought I'd post the pics I'd neglected to post earlier in the week (for those who sadly, think I post all this while I'm actually out of town, ahem!).

A highlight of the week, a parti-colored species, the Varied Bunting
It was interesting - to me anyway - that last year's buntings were all lazuli Buntings, but this year there were no Lazuli's, only Varied Buntings. A little sad here, as when I watched a several buntings bouncing around in a wood pile at the bottom of the slope in front of me, I neglected to point them out to any of the other birders. By the time I thought to,  the buntings had bounced. That, I can assure you, is the height of bad birding manners. I must beg forgiveness."Audubon, Peterson & other legendary birders in the great beyond, I have sinned..."

A variety of species came in to nab bits of orange & suet from the pole feeder.
Black-headed Grosbeak, ho hum for me, but not from birders visiting from east of the Mississippi.
A bold little Bridled Titmouse
One bird that had me all excited when I first saw it was this female mumble, mumble Oriole.

Female... uh.. there's a blackish bib... but a Scott's?
I so wanted a Scott's Oriole to fly in, a male one, that is. That'd be a lifer bird for me. But only this female what's it showed up. I mean, this girlie has a v. gray head but I dunnon... she could just as likely be a Hooded Oriole. Why oh why didn't she bring along her better half? *heavy sigh*

And on to more cooperative birds, such as Blue Grosbeaks.

There are Blue Grosbeaks in California, but often as not I don't see more than one or two per year. Here in Arizona though, the things are practically a plague. Have seen more this week than in all previous years of my entire life. A half dozen at a time is no big deal in Arizona.

Male Blue Grosbeak
A female Blue Grosbeak, altogether llooking like a different species than her mate
Oh, and here's a Magnificent Hummingbird. What a name, Magnificent Hummingbird. Not Better-than-average Hummingbird or pretty-fancy-for-a-U.S.-Hummingbird, just Magnificent.

Magnificent 'Better-than-average' Hummingbird
 Oh, and while on the topic of Better-than-average Hummers, I inadvertently got a series of shots that told a bit of a story about bullying and come-up-pence. It started with a female Broad-billed Hummer, minding her own business, sipping nectar.

Minding her business when along came a bully - a male Magnificent
He kept dive-bombing the little female, over and over again
The b*stard took over the little girlie's place at the feeder
But too quick for my camera, the little girl chased the big jerk from HER perch
Doesn't the Magnificent look surprised at her moxie?
The Magnificent, its purple & turquoise caught the sun as it skedaddled
Lesser Nighthawk in the ebbing light
It was a nice few days at Madera Canyon. Every day ending with  driving to the bottom of the canyon. There I lazily watched Lesser Nighthawks patrol their territory, gulping down insects on the wing as  daylight faded.


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