Monday, April 16, 2012

"Fall Out"


After yesterdays amazing pics by guest photographers, todays are well....pretty terrible.  In fact they will probably remind you of the blurry Big Foot shot taken back in the 1970's:)
I'm wearing my Mancapris and this pic reminded me that I need a haircut.  There is no product in it whatsoever.
So I'll start off with our garden and then move onto my detective work and the exciting "Fall Out" that happened in Tucson and other parts of Arizona this weekend.   

Birding took a backseat because of life and chores.  Photography was placed on hold.  Just too much to do, but I made myself schedule the weekend so that I could get my birding and exercise in.   I began watering plants around El Presidio when I heard the unmistakable sounds of thousands of bees behind me.  An old rotted beam was sagging and I saw the signs.  The rain and water must have disturbed a hive.  It was the most dangerous thing I've seen on the grounds this year!  Residents should know that someone will be in tomorrow morning to remedy the situation.  I don't know enough about bees, but the swarm felt African and I stayed my distance.  If you saw the intense cloud of bees, you would have been scared as well. 
Black Neck Stilts and American Avocet

And thanks to a tip off from many local Tucsonans and Laurence, this weekend would prove to dazzle.  In fact, parks and water areas were "flooded" with birders from all over.  Our Pacific storm brought many visitors rarely seen in the Tucson area.  It was not an event to be missed.  Black Neck Stilts, Red Necked Phalarope, Red Phalarope, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, American Avocets.....well the list goes on and on. 

I've never seen so many seabirds at Sweetwater.  Ever! But the diamond among them all?  The Phalaropes.  I didn't have to be a genious to figure out which pond area the Phalaropes were at because A LOT of birders were there.  My telephoto lens.....home:( But I do have blurry evidence that I saw these two birds and it was exciting.  People strained their eyes and toggled their binoculars to get a close up on these two movie stars.  But most did not succeed.  And I will admit this now.  I never saw them until after I got home.  I know I know....how lame am I?  Which begs the question....Does it count on your bird list if you accidentally get them in the photo?  Curious to hear what you all think about that one:)
I returned the following day hoping for better shots as did other birders.  Parking was out onto the street this time.  The best part of my Sunday?  Seeing a brilliant yellow Warbler fly around several trees.  Amazing!  But the story of the Phalaropes?  Well a Peregrine Falcon flew into the area during the morning chasing out all the seabirds into other secret areas.  We searched high and low for them in shallow water areas.  We looked for their circling....and found nothing. And then I had to get back to deal with the bee situation.  So I have only my shots from Saturday night which were pretty sad:) BUT.  I did accomplish the mission.  My eyes were tired from looking into the white grey waters that washed everything together.   And as for the bees? Homeowners in Tucson remember that it's not uncommon for bees to swarm around this time of  year finding a place to call home.  Bee urine releases a pheromone that attracts other bee species.  And this swarm must have picked up on the scent which led them to our place.   Beekeepers are looking to save them and have humane ways to capture and release them back into a better environment.  I have some really exciting posts coming up and I promise, my pictures will help rid the stains of today.  Wildflowers tomorrow....:)


20 comments:

Jill said...

The bees would have scared me right indoors! The photo of you made me smile. You look like you're up to 'something'..ha!

My vote? You may check those birds off of your list. I believe your subconscious knew they were there the whole time and therefore, you got their photos. ;)

Bob Bushell said...

Nice bit of dancing in no.2, lol.

Suz said...

you are always so much fun to read.....glad you are relocting the bees.....and sorry you missed the birds.....but I really loved that photo of you without "product" in your hair...hee hee

TexWisGirl said...

you made me laugh with the bigfoot stance. :) good luck w/ the bee relo!

tracy said...

Yes, I think it counts if you accidentally get a bird in your photo because at least you were there trying. So now I have one more reason to be jealous of Tucson - you got rain!

Laurence Butler said...

Maybe the Bees will help your flowers while they're there.

Congratulations on the Phalaropes--those are some mega rare birds to get inland and in Arizona. I'm hoping to work in a Patagonia trip sometime soon, and I think I'll have to try and fit Sweetwater Wetlands into the mix too...somehow.

Charming read as always, thanks for sharing.

Juliana said...

Thanks for following my blog)
Well..I found a lot of interesting stories here in your blog! I see u love nature too)) Nice to meet ya
xoxo, Juliana

Warren Baker said...

Always exciting to get a fall of passage birds Chris, glad you got out to see some.

Nice to hear the bees will be looked after too :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Sounds like you had an exciting weekend Chris! Hope the bees have been relocated safely and well done on all those bird sightings!

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Belas fotos e histórias da Natureza...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos

Pam said...

The buzzing sound is a sure sign to beware. Great shot of you and the birds, Chris.

Sunray Gardens said...

Great photos. Lots of fun going through with you. The bees are great but don't want them nesting on my house.

Cher Sunray Gardens

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I hope the bees find a nice new home. I don't know much about birding but I think if you have a photo of it you saw it.

Magpie said...

I'm about to post some shots of bees swarming also. You're right, it's that time of year. I'm hoping these guys just keep on moving. I love bees, but I'm happy with the one little hive I have in a hollow of one of our trees.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Chris, Those bees would scare me also. Hope the 'professionals' can relocate them somewhere better...

Glad you saw so many great water birds.. Sorry they weren't there when you went back. Such a privilege to see them...

Have a great Tuesday.
Betsy

Gillian Olson said...

Love the big foot pose, hope the bees get safely to a new home.

Andrea said...

I've just been to Ryan and Meg's gardenblog and I am so amazed at how Randy capture swarms of bees. Even if i have some experiences with native bees and their sting, i still am scared to be near a swarm.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

I thought it was a good post but the bee's Aaaaah! And yes I think you should count the birds!

CameraCruise said...

Great shots, I especially like the 2nd.
Hope it works out with the bees.

laurak@forestwalkart said...

haha!! you do a great big foot!!

and i didn't know that about...uh...bee urine?? bee pheromones?? i can't even picture a bee...peeing...

that's some gathering of bees...i hope they can come and move them to a different location SOON...yeah, keep us posted!