Rare birds and common ones

I hadn’t seen cedar waxwings in years. They are somewhat rare here and only a few come through during spring migration. I saw one hiding deep in the bushes and was a little bummed he was not visible. Later in my walk a flock of them quickly flew by and one stopped for a few second right in front of me. They are beautiful birds.

A rare western kingbird. I’ve only seen these once before in the area in the last 9 years. At first I thought it was a great crested flycatcher which are more common but realized later it was a kingbird.

All of the usual birds that are at Possum Branch Preserve.

Not sure what this little yellow bird it. I’m thinking it’s an immature palm warbler.

Other little critters along the lake (besides alligators).

These were all taken at Possum Branch Preserve, a small watershed, near my home in mid-April.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Animals in Arizona

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My first western kingbird.

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Two juvenile kingbirds. The parent was close by in the next tree.

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A zone tailed hawk being chased by a cooper’s hawk. Thanks to Jeremy at AZ Bird Brains¬†for the id. The zone tailed is a first for me.

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On the hike back up the Grand Canyon, we stopped to rest in a shade spot. I heard a noise behind me and the above juvenile robin was watching us.

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White breasted nuthatches were all over the Grand Canyon park. They were pretty skittish though. I couldn’t get close with my 105mm lens.

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I had my wide-angle lens with me when we went to the Sedona airport to take pictures of the rock formations and I happened to notice these two flies having a party. They let me get pretty close.

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Another critter on the trail back up the Grand Canyon. We were resting (which we did often) and this squirrel stopped in the shade, laid down and covered himself in dust. I guess that’s his way of cooling off. The dirt in the shade was probably cooler. There were big signs everywhere about not feeding the squirrels and how they will bite you and give you diseases. Lots of nasty pictures on the signs in case you can’t read English. We still saw people feeding them. What does it take?

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Bunnies were everywhere. This one was near the airport.

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I only saw a few lizards. They were much bigger than the ones running around my yard.

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Another bunny running around the golf course.

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The view near our house. There is a small deer in the bottom right corner.

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Right in front of our house. We came back from dinner one night and they were there. We only saw deer at dusk or dark. They must come out on the golf course when they know it will be empty.

Animals were everywhere in Arizona. I was going to concentrate on landscape pictures and only brought my smaller lenses with me but I kept getting tempted to take pictures of them even though they were usually too far away for me to get a good shot. The first morning we woke up at our rental house in Sedona, we had breakfast out on the back patio and birds were everywhere. We had a house finch nest up in the roof with the parents darting in and out. We had 3 empty hummingbird nests in the bushes along the house. We saw several hummingbirds but I could never get a shot with a 105mm lens. I saw my first steller’s jay and spotted towhee but the pictures are so bad I didn’t want to post them. The highlight was the western kingbird. The golf course was full of them. I will absolutely¬†bring my longer lens on my next visit.