|Watering holes, like this one, are very important for wildlife like this Arizona Gray Squirrel during the month of June|
|This pic from a local Arivaca Cafe caught my attention and I got lost in the image|
|Wildflowers love the sun and add a lovely splash of color along pounds or founds. They also are a source of food for hummingbirds and insects like butterflies and bees|
Wildlife aficionados around the Tucson area help out Mother Nature by placing fountains and other water sources out for their critters. In this harshest of months, the wildlife and native vegetation are put to the test.
|I would have missed this night blooming cacti flower had I not gotten up early enough. In the morning, the flower closes up.|
|The Mediterranean House Gecko enjoys the warm summer nights around lights as bugs like moths are drawn to the lights|
The sun is bright and strong. The heat is unbearable. Humans exist within their a/c run structures. The curtains are drawn to reflect the sun and heat from outside. For wildlife, they stay near the few water sources that exist. Most cling to the shade or their burrows during the day. At night, humans and other mammals leave their homes for a walk or an outdoor dinner event. We here in Tucson turn into vampires at night(minus the blood sucking).
|Arizona Song Sparrow or what some call the Desert Song Sparrow|
It never hurts to ask. I was bored. There was a golf course in Tucson that had a body of water. I walked to the visitor center and heard lots of bird song, but I turned around and got back into my car. Then I said to myself "screw it". I drove all the way there and for what? To turn around and drive home? Heck no. So I went to the front desk and asked to see their pond. The owner looked at me weird and eyed my camera wearily. In fact, I've noticed over the last several weeks that people have been hypersensitive about the camera. One lady even told me that my camera looked like a gun. So I have become sensitive to my public presence. I don't want to scare people (even though some would say that it's my right to carry a concealed weapon). The thing is that it's just a big and heavy scary looking camera:) But I think it's good that the public is noticing.
|The hidden pond of Roger Enke Golf Course|
Anyhow, the manager looked at me strangely and I smiled and told him I was doing a bird count in the area and wondered if I could check the pond. I reassured him that I'd stay out of the way of the golfers and then he told me, "No problem." So it never hurts to ask.
|Round-tailed Ground Squirrels are active in the shade|
|Neotropic Cormorants are found around our local watering holes in Tucson|
While we both are researching, our cats love to "help out". Typing can be a real challenge. And if I'm not watching carefully, they'll do some typing for me!
|Band-tailed Pigeon! This year has been a good year for them!|
|The lovely sanctuary known as Ramsey Canyon|
It was pretty magical and it was the largest count I've ever had in that area without all the people around. So it goes to show that human activity does have an affect on wildlife. Also it helped birding early. Here in Southern Arizona, bird numbers and activity are highest between the hours of 4 AM until 8 AM. Yeah. It's early. Miss that window and you'll have to wait until 5 PM for everything to sort of pick up again.
|The interior sub-species of White-breasted Nuthatch|
Go early. Freeze water bottles the night before to stay cool. Or if you have a water cooler, pack it with ice. It will melt:) Stay shaded as often as you can. Wear sun protections like a hat or sunscreen. A lot of birds are on nests right now and it's pretty exciting to see.
|The Red-shafted Northern Flicker|
For Arizona birders, June is often the month to travel to other worlds. I'll be flying out soon. But for now, it's house chores and travel prep.
For my surveys, click on the "here".
For the Gray Hawks at Las Cienegas, click here.
For the Trogon Survey at Ramsey Canyon, click here.
For my weekly patch count at Reid Park, click here.
Until next time....