Arizona update: 6 September 2020

Gambel’s Quail 6 Sep 2020.

Things are progressing at the new place, but it seems like it’s going slowly.  The house was not well cared for by the previous owner and it is needing a LOT of TLC. Marie and I have been working on it 12 hours a day and still have a long way to go, but it’s “fun” I suppose. I mention that because it’ll be a while before I get out locally to explore the trails and parks, but meanwhile I’m trying to get a good walk in the neighborhood once a day. The Gambel’s Quail here are so abundant that it’s really impossible to estimate numbers….I have up to 30 in my yard at a time, and that’s just a microcosm of the surrounding area.  The photo above is “blown out” based on the poor sunrise lighting, but the composition is great. 

Name that Flicker…I believe this to be a Gilded Flicker and don’t see why it isn’t,  but I’m obviously an east coast transplant and don’t want to blow it. Tell me if I’m wrong. 

Greater Roadrunners are fairly common, but I might see 4 in a day,  and zero the next. This one was one of two in the street at the same time yesterday morning in front of the house. 

Abert’s Towhees are also prevalent,  and I usually have 2 to 3 the feeders all day. This one was on the golf course (thankfully we have no grass at the house!).

This is another crappy backlit shot, but finally saw something other than an Anna’s. This is a Costa’s Hummingbird. I have five hummingbird feeders up and look forward to some more variety! As soon as the stupid refrigerator gets repaired (hasn’t worked since we moved in), I’ll buy some jelly and oranges and start offering that also.

I warned you there’d be incessant rabbit shots. We get Desert Cottontail here in bushels. I can’t describe how many there are, and will have to take a wide angle lens out one evening to get a crowd shot….Marie and I have seen up to 40 on one green at night. They are incredibly cute and fun to watch,  especially the weird friendships they seem to have with the quail… you often see them foraging together and almost conversing.

Another Desert Cottontail.

Harris’s Antelope Squirrel…I thought these were some kind of chipmunk, but they’re not.  They’re just adorable little squirrels. We also see some kind of large ground squirrel;  pics to come when I get a decent one.

We finally saw a “squadron” of Javelina (Collared Peccary) last night.  These things are uniquely adorable and roam in packs of 9 to 25 here.

The lizards are great too, and I need to learn them. I’m confident the one below is a Desert Spiny Lizard, and I think the well-camouflaged one above is also, but I’m not certain. Comments are welcome!

I’ll leave you with a nice view of the moon over the boulders at sunrise yesterday.  It’s still incredibly,  record-settingly hot here, but it is worth getting out there for a bit.

The boulder pile. Carefree, Arizona.

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