Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tohono Chul Park Year-end Birds 2011

Harris Hawk  12-26-2011 9-03-38 AM 1207x765Though fall migration is over and spring migration is several weeks away, we’ve had some terrific birding at the Park during the last two weeks. This beautiful Harris hawk, hanging out in the big eucalyptus at the north end of the Park was a nice surprise. In addition to the Harris hawk, we’ve seen the following “regulars” and winter visitors:

Abert’s towhee, green-tailed towhee, black-tailed gnat-catcher, cactus wren, cardinal, Cooper’s hawk, Costa’s hummingbird, curve-billed thrasher, Gambel’s quail, Gila woodpecker, lesser goldfinch, house finch, house sparrow, kestrel, mockingbird, mourning dove, orange-crowned warbler, phainopepla, verdin, western bluebird, white-crowned sparrow. A special treat, at the west end of the Saguaro Discovery Trail, is an Anna’s x Costa’s hummingbird hybrid.

As for critters, we’ve seen several coyotes, along with lots of javelina tracks and bobcat scat. Happy holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


We’re having strange weather—according to NOAA, the coldest start to December since they’ve been keeping records. There’s been a fair amount of rain and it’s been quite cold—January cold. A couple of mornings ago we had a fog attack. It was stunning—you couldn’t see farther than across the yard. backyard in fog 12-4-2011 8-31-49 AM 3616x2712 It was actually rather beautiful, though eerie: Sunflower in the fog 12-4-2011 8-30-55 AM 2405x2373

All the birds looked cold. Here are some quail. And by the way, there are still a couple of dozen of them roosting in the front yard. Even better, a mockingbird is still roosting with them—or at least does so sometimes. I watched him fly into the pyracantha the other night to join his bigger buddies.

quail and hoses in fog 12-4-2011 8-31-20 AM 2088x2113                   Quail in the fog 12-4-2011 8-31-27 AM 3616x2712