Monday, May 21, 2012

Wood Duck Magic

Great photo taken by Christina
I get ebird alerts sent to me via my email. Last week there was an alert for a Wood Duck at a park near us. My husband pack up his camera and Christina and I got our birding things together and off we went. He had already been there for over a week, so we were hoping he hadn't decided to take off for places unknown.

Christina arrived about 5 minutes ahead of us. She went immediately to the lake and the first bird she saw was the Wood Duck! What a beautiful bird! I know this is an ordinary bird to see in many parts of the country, but not here in Tucson, Arizona.

There was just the one Wood Duck, but he looked like he was having a great time swimming with the Mallards. He did everything they did. When they took off across the pond, he did too. When they got out of the water the preen themselves, he followed right along. I know this is being anthropomorphic, but he seemed to enjoy spending time with the big boys.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Unexpected Discoveries While Birding

One thing I have discovered about my new hobby of birding is that not only do we discover these wonderful jewels that have always been around us but not noticed, we also have many wonderful nature encounters. Last Sunday my husband, daughter and I went to Madera Canyon south of Tucson to look for the Elegant Trogan. Not only did we see one of these beautiful birds, but we also got to watch a black bear walk along the hillside above us. Actually, it watched us while we watched it.

Today, my daughter and I went back to Sabino Canyon in the northeastern part of the Tucson valley to bird.  One of the first things that caught our eye was the Saguaro blossoms! I'm always amazed at the beauty of cactus flowers. The prickly pear were also blooming, even though I think they are nearing the end of their blooming season.

Giant Saguaro towering above us

We were very excited when we came upon a desert tortoise. It is only the second time we have seen one in the wild in the 30 years we have lived here.