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27 April 2008

Return to Gilbert

I had a brief trip to Gilbert this morning - the first in quite awhile! Unfortunately, the peak migration time is past, and many of the chicks are already hatched and growing quickly. However, the trip was still quite productive with one new species seen - Green-tailed Towhee. This bird is quite seclusive, living in dense brush, so I was not able to get any photos.

Other highlights included a Green Heron fishing (see photo below - it caught a small minnow), a very tame Peach-faced Lovebird, and the usual array of other herons, egrets, cormorants, avocets, etc. I counted about 40 bird species in the 70 minutes or so I was there. Not bad for a quick trip and only covering less than 1/2 of the park.

Green Heron



Great Blue Heron


Mallard Mom with Chicks


Black-Necked Stilt


American Avocet - no close views today


Long-billed Dowitchers


Snowy Egret


Great Egret


Verdin


Peach Faced Lovebird


Black-crowned Night-Heron

15 April 2008

Argentina, Texas, and Baja

Melanie and I have taken a lot of time researching and planting interesting desert natives on our property. This spring, we're starting to see some of the results.

Argentine Giant - Echinopsis candicans
Known for huge night-time blooms that only last one day.





Texas Rainbow - Echinocereus dasyacanthus
A hedgehog with color variation within each stem, and large flowers.




Baja Fairy Duster - Calliandra californica
Multi-stamen flowers enjoyed by butterflies and hummingbirds



Pink Fairy Duster - Calliandra eriophylla
Flowers more profusely than the Baja variety.