Anne, Brandon, Lynda and I all birded Palo Verde Ecological Reserve this morning to search for Bell’s Vireos, Vireo bellii, and we were surprised to find seven birds, with some singing and the majority scolding. We got looks at a couple (below) and took some recordings.
According to the BNA account, Bell’s stick around the Lower Colorado River area into November in “sizable” numbers, whatever that means. eBird reports from the region show very few records from October, so the area is under-birded at least. It will definitely be interesting to continue birding PVER and to see just how long BEVIs stick around and in what numbers.
Here are some photos from our morning of birding at PVER. The first two photos are of a Loggerhead Shrike that spent the entire morning sitting on top of a bunch of bushes. Shrikes, of course, are famously the only predatory songbirds and will occasionally take other songbirds (I’ve even seen them kill a Swainson’s Thrush!) The presence of the Shrike may have kept some of the other birds hidden more than normal.
The irrigation canals were slowly filling with water while we birded, and all sorts of detritus, including creatures, were swept down-canal with the water. Here is some sort of larva which squirmed as it washed down the line:
This time of year, White-crowned Sparrows are perhaps the most common birds of the bush. Here is an individual too young for his namesake crown.
Broom baccharis full of butterflies:
And now the Bell’s Vireos – Bell’s Vireo 1:
Bell’s Vireo 2: