Thursday, March 1, 2012

Springing Forward

It's been weird winter here in Phoenix. But now signs of spring, like this Avocet's rusting head, are starting to pop up over the valley, and I fear we may lose our winter visitors pretty soon.

The Green-Winged Teal seem to be amassing at the Gilbert Water Ranch. Maybe they're going to fly north in a big convoy, I know that's how I would do it.

The Long-Billed Dowitchers are also gathering into larger flocks, and are starting to pick up just a hint of their brown breeding plumage. Like the Flamingos that get their lovely pink pigmentation from their crustaceous diet, the Dowitchers switch to a strict regimen of mud, dirt, and gunk to get their brown coloration during breeding season. (not really)

The Anna's Hummingbirds are all over the place. You can hear their buzzing and chirping around most of the parks, and you'll find dozens of them at the Water Ranch and Desert Botanical Gardens. I entreated this handsome fellow: "Will you please turn you head just slightly and look at me without the branch in the way, so we can see that fully lit shield?"

Hmph. No.

What a tease.