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Acacia pods

The catclaw acacias, that were in full bloom just a couple of weeks ago, are now producing these supple, velvety pods. It’s beginning to be quite warm even early in the morning, but the shady east side is still quite cool.

The Lucy’s Warblers are as songful as ever, but the other warblers seem to have departed, and I haven’t seen a hawk in a few days. Saw a beautiful flycatcher fanning his red tail in fluttering flight from one branch to another, then fly off through the middle of a hackberry bush in a Star Wars-like feat of aeronautics.

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Saguaro blossoms

Two Harris’s Hawks were standing guard just north of the road, one on each side of the wash on a telephone pole. The doves are having a feast on the saguaro blossoms.

Saw a lizard, turquoise green under the throat and belly, throat puffed out and doing pushups, with light bands traversing the back.

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Cholla blossom

Also saw our old friend the mystery, probably Red-tailed without a red tail, Hawk. He has a habit of scratching his head with his claw. White breast with red streaking at the top, mottle and rather scruffy looking back. Fits the picture of Red-tailed Hawk in light phase.

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Beehive or Rainbow cactus?

Neither is supposed to be growing at this elevation (both are over 4000’). Perhaps I need a cactus book. This is in dead kindling on the east side of the wash, in the area just north of Los Vientos.

I fail to mention the rabbits and squirrels generally, but they are always there, this morning as always. Also lots of Abert’s Towhees, and a possible Oriole flew over (but could also have been a Black-headed Grosbeak).

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Cactus Wren nest

The Cactus Wren sat nearby on a fence scolding me as I took this photo. I couldn’t see any babies inside when I looked through the binoculars. It seems silly to use all that red stuff, it gives away the location rather.

The warblers weren’t around (except for the ubiquitous Lucy’s Warbler, whose call fills the wash these days, and who will be with us for a while). But the Hooded Orioles have moved in, I saw two. There’s also a particularly handsome breed of black-backed Lesser Goldfinches hanging around today. The Abert’s Towhees are quite common, identifiable by the flash of reddish brown from their rump feathers as the fly away. A hawk in a dead tree as I came back; mottled back and white breast.

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Desert acacia

Acacia smallii. Or possibly a White-thorn acacia. Growing at the edge of a back yard. The spines occur singly, unlike the paired spines of the White-thorn acacia, which has paired spines. At least, I think so, I’ll have to have another look.

Saw two Abert’s Towhees chasing each other through the trees, and a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds, the female a dull brown, making a rapid chirping trill, and the male dark and glossy, making a strange liquid sound. Also, a couple of days ago, a Wilson’s Warbler and a Black-capped Gnatcatcher.

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Cane cholla

Echinocereus engelmannii.

The flycatchers were very noisy this morning, it must be their time for mating. I haven’t seen any hawks for a while.

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Mexican Bird-of-paradise

The Wilson’s Warblers are still around, no sign of the others.  The Pyrrhuloxias are starting to form mating pairs (as the Mourning Doves have been doing for quite a while). The Catclaw Acacias are in full bloom.

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