Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Whole Bloomin' Garden!

The Desert Botanical Gardens have long been a birding staple of Butlers Birds and Things. It's nearby, has a good variety of species, and brings the birds in close. But into the winter months, they often prune heavily and remove lots of the flowering vegetation. As such, the number of species and sightings drops off dramatically and birders are forced to look elsewhere. Well, the spring planting is now well established, the Gardens are in full bloom, and the birds are coming back. It was a great pleasure to return to these familiar grounds and have another great birding experience, as I had so often last year.

Not all of the winter birds have left yet, and the first to greet me was this confident White-Crowned Sparrow--a bird with a kingly bravery to match its kingly name.

And of course, there were Verdins. There are always Verdins, lots and lots of Verdins. I've never not seen a Verdin at the DBG. I've never gotten tired of seeing Verdins at the DBG : )

The Verdins and White-Crowned Sparrows had no problem being out in the open, nor did the multitude of Anna's and Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds that have descended on the flowering Gardens en masse. There were also some skulkers, some shy birds keeping to the shadows hoping the spastic camera man would pass them by. Wishful thinking birdies!

This Orange-Crowned Warbler was one such wallflower, the first of many I will see this spring.

This male Gambel's Quail was also being a bit mopey. Maybe he was just feeling a little bit trapped. Oh sigh, Mr. Quail, the grass is always greener on the other side...

Speaking of green, this frog was in a very bullish mood, and he filled the small swampy circle at the DBG with his boisterous boasting. This would be all well and good if I were not trying to 'pish' a Common Yellowthroat out of the reeds. Alas, the bullfrog won that singing contest.

This young male Anna's Hummingbird made for some particularly fun observations. He did not seem to like feeding while in flight, and would instead try to perch near or on his desired flower. When he found a nice perch on a fairy duster plant, he blended in very nicely.

When he turned his head and revealed his developing gorget, it was very complementary, his green back and spot of red fitting the color palette perfectly. Soon he'll have his full, manly gorget, and he'll terrorize the flower gardens and try to chase all the other birds away. Of course, this will attract all the more attention from us birders.