The Road to 600, January 2016

January continued to roll along, and it became apparent that I could find my 600th ABA life bird at any time.Meanwhile, I found some local bird identification curiosities. In the barrio next to our gated community, several slightly small, slightly pale collared-doves keep showing up. Sometimes they are much paler, and on one occasion, much smaller. Normally they don’t get close enough to photograph, but here I had a chance to photograph one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over at the Desert Botanical Garden, I finally captured my first pooping Gilded Flicker:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now a Gilded Flicker being neighborly with the aggressive and terrible European Starlings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Sonoran Curve-billed Thrashers (palmeri) were taking advantage of some of exotic ripening cactus fruit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrashers close their eyes when they get deep into the cactus fruit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see how the Thrashers destroy their tails – balancing much like Woodpeckers with their tail a third-leg:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wondered if Thrashers ever accidentally prick themselves on cactus spines? This one-eyed Sonoran Thrasher suggests they do:

 

 

I finally returned to the Saguaro Cactus with the Western Screech-Owl cavity. Much better results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This young neat Red-tailed Hawk perched up with a dead feral Rock Pigeon, of which there exists a huge colony on Papago Bluffs next to the Phoenix Zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it rains it pours, more Gilded Flickers pooping:

 

 

 

Huge flocks of American Pipits in the agricultural fields northeast of Phoenix:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here, the weekly flyover of our barrio, courtesy the PHX Police:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Ferruginous Hawk somewhere southeast of PHX Metro:

 

 

 

Finally! Anne and I found my Mountain Plover, ABA #600, with Anne at the Evergreen Turf Farm. Not the closest sighting, but what a great bird to finally see!

 

 

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