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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Crazy day at CMO

I went down to the oasis at my usual time, about 7:30 AM. A couple of birders were already there who had gotten directions from some other birder. With 3 other large groups scheduled for the day, one morning, one early afternoon, and another late afternoon, I knew it was going to be hectic. I just didn't know it was going to have a few harrowing moments on the road.

Parking lot full all day

The Lucifer Hummingbirds were real, real scarce at the feeders and it would be a lifer for most of the 34 birders who visited today. So when the first group was getting ready to leave without seeing it, I suggested we drive a ways down the road and walk to the lower dam where the male has set up his territory. It took longer than I thought it would because the Lucifer stayed at a distance and when it could be spotted at all, was impossible for all but a couple in the group of 16 to locate. So we kept trying, while the Lucifer disappeared, then reappeared somewhere else, etc. They finally gave up, and were getting into their two long large vans, when over the hill came 3 small cars right up to them. Well, the little cars couldn't conceivable back up the big hill, and the two long vans couldn't conceivably back around a narrow sharp corner in the road. So the vans had to get to the side as far as possible, and the 3 cars had to pass them. I thought sure they would end up stuck in the ditch. Don't know how they squeezed by. Whew, I don't want that to happen ever again!

I took that last group down to see the Lucifer on territory with much the same results. Only one in the group was able to spot it and get some distant photos of it. Some of the second group saw it at the feeders while the 3rd group was down the arroyo looking for it. Whatever works! Not that it was a plan or anything, but I figured if we left the feeders it would come in. A female Lucifer even made a quick visit to the feeders. Hopefully, the ocotillo will quit blooming and life can get back to normal.
An interesting robin showed up at the oasis today. I usually get the western variety of American Robin, but this one seems to be an eastern variety, though you can't really tell from this photo.

You can tell better how pale it is on this photo.

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