Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis)
The mornings are still somewhat cool so I headed out to Granite Reef this AM to dwell in the shade of the mesquite trees and try to catch a glimpse of a Vermilion Flycatcher. Didn't see nary a one of them, but I was fortunate enough to run into a few very nice fellow birders, Barb and Johanna (both are docents at Desert Botanical Gardens!) who pointed out a Common Yellowthroat lurkng in the reeds. Thank you Johanna for pointing out the Yellowthroat and its call! I certainly wouldn't have seen or heard that on my own. None of the birds were being very cooperative, only the Gila Woodpecker stayed still long enough to be photographed. A pair of Bullock's Orioles taunted us most of the morning zipping in and out of the mesquite trees, as we tried to get a good look at the Yellowthroat. I never knew where to look first! To add to our head-twisting adventure, a pair of Northern Cardinals in their bright red breeding plumage whizzed by our heads a few times. It was certainly a colorful morning!
Belly view of a Bullock's Oriole
There were Phainopepla everywhere, chasing Grackles away from their nests. Other birds seen were Brewer's Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Turkey Vultures, and possibly a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Most of the views we had of the birds this morning were of their backsides as they flitted away!
Warning to Wheelchair Users - The ground here has become quite soft and sandy, you can easily get stuck in it. And there are critter holes everywhere! So if you venture off of the cement paths, be careful, and have someone with you that can help pull you out if you get mired down into the sand.
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