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Hooded Mergansers

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Pond

I've written about the pond before, but since I walk to it at least twice a day... sometimes more....  it's a big part of my enjoyment of our gate guarding job here.

My evening walk is usually when I see the most....  the painted buntings, cardinals, orioles, kingbirds and others getting their evening bath at the far end of the pond make a very colorful scene.  But yesterday, during my noon walk I saw a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos... bringing our "positive ID" total of birds here to 53.

I've seen the bobcat 3 times so far...  he slinks away through the weeds and is difficult to spot.  The does bring their fawns down to the water to drink...
 They spotted me...  got curious and walked fairly close to me.... checking me out.... before bounding away into the thicket.

The critters all seem to love the same area, but are careful not to arrive at the same time...
 This roadrunner strutted around, taking drinks from the pond.  He hopped up on this big rock as if to say "I'm the King of the World"...  and for a few minutes, he was.

Shortly after he left, along came a coyote.  He, too, walked along the edge of the pond, takes drinks along the way.  Then...  his turn to be King...
 Same rock...  same pose.  Looks like a popular spot to me.

I see so much up at that pond...  birds, mammals, reptiles (no snakes... yet), lots of wildflowers and I've seen the palo verde and mesquite and cactus all bloom and thrive.  My 300mm lens is being repaired at this time, and my zoom power is limited.  So I was surprised when I downloaded my memory card and saw this...
 This is exactly as it was...  nothing photo-shopped...  nothing enhanced...  There's the deer drinking from the pond... a huge bullfrog sitting on the bank, and in the foreground, that's the green heron waiting for a meal.  I couldn't have asked for a better example of my favorite spot!

The photo below is very blurry...  but...  it's the best I could get of a new "life" bird.  This Audubon's Oriole also came to drink from a shallow spot at the pond.  There were 2 males, and at least 1 female, flitting around in the understory of the nearby thicket.  
It's quite exciting to see green jays, painted buntings, thrashers, mockingbirds, kingbirds, cardinals and pyrrhuloxia all at the same time.  It's like a paint-box got spilled just across the pond!

I know our time at this gate will soon come to an end, and while I know we'll have lots more great adventures, I really appreciate what all this place has had to offer.

That's All For Today!

11 comments:

  1. Three in one photo! What a neat place! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. It sure is true that the watering hole is the center of wildlife activity!

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  3. Wow, you got some great shots there. When I was in the four corners area, I asked someone where I could spot a road runner. I was told they're pretty elusive so I wasn't likely to see one. And I didn't.

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  4. You got some great shots - love the one with the frog, deer and green heron. Isn't it nice when we are pleasantly surprised by something in our photos that our eyes didn't see? Every once in a while that happens. :)

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  6. Great photos! And you have the best attitude!

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  7. That's one huge bullfrog! Loved the fawns. I you will really miss the pond when Yiu have to go!

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  8. And you get paid to stay there?!?!?!! Wow, throw me in the brier patch. What beautiful wildlife pictures you have been taking. Most people wouldn't get that many creatures on film in a life time of trying.

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  9. Wo needs TV or movies, when you get to see wildlife like you have shown in this post, Sharon. This gate guarding has been a great nature adventure for us too.

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