Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Monday, December 10, 2012

Seven Springs Rec Area - 9 Dec 2012

For the Sunday edition of my birding adventure this past weekend, Ellen once again joined me and we headed to the Seven Springs Recreation Area north of Cave Creek in Arizona.  Not a place to find water birds, but it brings out a different set of avian clientele.  Almost titled this post as 'Redheads and Reflections', and as I proceed you will see why.
One of the first birds we encountered was a male Northern Cardinal and his bright red color was a welcome sight in the early morning light and a good omen.  Turns out this guy was the first of my 3 'Redheads' that I was able to photograph on this day.
Northern Cardinal
The next two 'Redhead's' were a Ladderback Woodpecker and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  The Ladderback also posed for us on a dead branch out in the full sun.  The entire area was full of the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and at one spot we came across 5 of them all agitated and flashing their ruby red crowns.  Really have no idea why they were all riled up, but it was fun to watch.  And if you have ever tried to photo one of these birds, you know how fast they are and do not sit still for photos.
 Ladderback Woodpecker
 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Now for the 'Reflections' part of this post.  It consists of only one species, the Hermit Thrush, but they were quite plentiful and I was able to capture photos of 2 of them and their reflections.  The first was one that had dropped down near the stream of water and its reflection was captured in the water.  The 2nd one was rather actually quite amusing.  We had parked my car in a parking area while we hiked down Cave Creek and then back to the car.  When we returned to the car, there were 3 other vehicles also in the parking area, but a Hermit Thrush had selected my car to perch on the passenger side mirror.  It appeared that it was looking at its reflection in the passenger side window and it was in no hurry to leave.  It had been there some time, as it had left plenty of Hermit Thrush wastes on the mirror cover.  It must have known that that car belonged to birders and we would not get upset with a little bird poop on the car.  My photo captured a partial reflection of the bird in the windshield.
 Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush
We found many other wonderful birds like the Cedar Waxwing, which is always a favorite of mine and many other birders.  Almost looks like this one took some lessons from a heron on how to crane its neck!  And of course, this is the time of the year when we get to see the American Robin in larger numbers.  They are usually pretty scare in the summer except in higher elevations.
 Cedar Waxwing
American Robin
The Townsend's Solitaire is another bird that can be found in the area in the winter and although it is a basic gray bird, most birders in Arizona enjoy seeing these in the winter.  We also found a Black Phoebe, a fairly common bird in Arizona especially if there is water nearby. 
 Townsend's Solitaire
Black Phoebe
And of course just to add a bit of variety, I have to end the post with something different, in this case a Common Buckeye butterfly.  Actually I was kind of surprised to see a butterfly since it was near freezing when we started out on Sunday morning.  Quite a lovely butterfly, but can be hard to see once it lands and does not move.
Common Buckeye

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