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Friday, April 24, 2015

Got 'em pegged

I am kicking myself, though, for not locating my specialty birds sooner. I finally have a pretty sure thing in locating the Lucifer Hummingbird in his territory, though he has several favorite perches. I located him 4 times today.

And I had heard the Elf Owl squawk occasionally from a certain mesquite tree that I felt sure he is roosting in but could not locate him. Finally, today I looked into the tree from the right angle so that I was able to see part of him. What spurred me to succeed was when my friend, Bonnie Wunderlich, sent me a photo of her Elf Owl roosting in a mesquite. Here is my pitiful picture. If I moved the least bit I couldn't see him at all. I didn't want to get into the tree or prune branches to harass him in any way. Rather do without the photo.

As for the Varied Bunting, a target bird for many birders, with a little patience and effort he can be located, either singing on his territory, or at the thistle feeder, or mulberry tree. It's loaded with mulberries ripening at a remarkable rate.

I finished the trail to the Lucifer viewing area just prior to a group using it. So much better and safer now. Here is the part that's finished from where I started working today back to the dam where I started working yesterday. (I already had a trail as far as the dam for years.)

Looking south

The next photo was taken as a before photo from where I was working today to where the viewing area is. You can barely make out where I roughed it in yesterday. More like toeholds. The viewing area is that flat outcropping of gray rock. It was a treacherous slope. Some visitors had previously been climbing down from the dam and then back up to the viewing area, but that's difficult-to-impossible for a lot of seniors to do.

Looking north

Viewing platform

My first caterpillar of the year, a White-lined Sphinx Moth

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