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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Costa's Hummingbird still around

Earlier this month we captured Bonnie Wunderlich's Costa's for the third time. (see previous Costa's posts) I worried that she might have left, so I went to Bonnie's place today to check. The hummer was still there but understandably really skittish. She would not feed with me around, so I just snapped a couple of photos and left. Mission accomplished. Hopefully, she'll hang around another month. And no, we have no intention of recapturing her again before October. But I seriously doubt if she'll ever be lured into a trap again. She appears to be fat and healthy. Bonnie takes good care of her feeders.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oasis mowed

We mow the oasis every winter. In the future we may mow it in the summer too. Rattlesnakes can be a real problem and I get paranoid that one of my visitors could get bitten.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cold Christmas camp

My husband prevailed upon me to spend Christmas at Black Gap Wildlife Management Area. We went Christmas eve and came back the day after Christmas. Water in our wash basin froze both nights we were there. I hate cold. He went fishing, but didn't catch many. I do not like camping. It's a lot of work and deprivation, without the comforts of home.


My private portable privy in the foreground




Monday, December 20, 2010

Northern Harrier

A beautiful day and I had a little time while waiting on the well repairman to get here. I didn't have enough energy to start a new project (cleaning the stucco tank or gathering sotol comes to mind) so I sat, actually sat down, at my oasis to watch birds. So far I've seen 28 species including a few Anna's Hummingbirds, 2 House Wrens, a Hermit Thrush and this Northern Harrier. I didn't know what it was while I was photographing it, but when it flew I saw the give-away white rump. I guess it's a 1st year bird.


The well man isn't here yet, but I'm not the least bored waiting. Before you ask what I do with the sotol, I use it for overhead shade on my canopy, photo blind, camouflage rain tanks, and the left over scraps and crooked stalks I cut up for kindling. No steak tastes better than one cooked over sotol.  I'll post photos soon...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter doldrums

The days are about as short as they can get. In a few days they'll start getting longer. That always cheers me up. Here's a photo of my pitiful oasis taken this morning as the sun rose over the mountain.


Next are a couple of shots I took at Rio Grande Village the day I was there last (Dec 12) of the area where the Tufted Flycatcher was hanging out most of the time. 


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tufted Flycatcher revisited

It might be the last opportunity I'll ever have to see a TUFL, so I went with my sister-in-law, Dale Ohl, to see it one more time at Rio Grande Village (BBNP).  One birder was already there when we arrived at 9:00 AM, and within minutes more arrived. The bird was promptly located in a Cottonwood tree where Matt VanWallene had originally found it. It stayed just below the high canopy all morning. We were all saturated with photos by the time we left.

Erik Breden looking north, road in background, TUFL in tree above


Black Vultures at a carcass in the Rio Grande River