Thursday, November 19, 2009

Phoenix, Part 3

So first up, I need to correct a bird ID in the first 2 Phoenix posts.  I had photographed a female hummingbird and assumed she was a ruby-throated hummingbird because she looked so much like the ruby-throated ones in the eastern half of the US.  But they don't occur in Arizona. It is hard to ID the females, but in the second post I had photos of a male hummingbird, and from those I was able to positively indentify it as a Costa's hummingbird.  The Costa's have a more purple color to their throat and cap feathers than the ruby-throated, and a nice white stripe from the outer corner of their eyes.  And the Costa's live in the desert.

I took all of the photos below as Dennis and I enjoyed the remains of the day on our little patio.  The first 2 shots are of a very shy female Gila woodpecker.



This male and his mate spent a lot of time at this hole in a Saguaro cactus, possible a nest hole.  The sun was sinking quickly into the west, resulting in a long exposure.  But you can see the little red cap of the male.

The pair settled on the pergola as twilight came.


As the sun set, the gibbous moon rose.


The details of the moon's surface show up so clearly in the dry desert air.  What a gorgeous finish to our last day in Phoenix.

10 comments:

  1. Very interesting to see the woodpeckers with a hole in the cactus. I would never have imagined anything making a home there.
    Lovely pictures of the Moon. I find it very hard to get the right exposure to show any detail.

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  2. Hi Wilma,
    Beautiful vermiculations on the back of the woodpecker. Lucky she's in Arizona.
    In malaysia people would say she's one crazy Woodpecker.'Gila' is Crazy in Malay!
    Great collection of photos again.
    madi

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  3. That last moon shot gives a pause - very nice! Nothing like a change of place to refresh ones appreciation for birds and hone one's IDing. Good Gila pics.

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  4. John -- quite a few birds take advantage of cacti for nest sites. We were on the lookout for an owl in nest hole that a fellow hiker told us about, but weren't able to find it. :-( I did a bit of experimenting to get the moon photos the way I wanted them.

    Madi -- they are lovely woodpeckers, aren't they? "Gila" (pronounced "he la") is a river in Arizona where these woodpeckers and a poisonous lizard called the Gila Monster were first described. Good to know that it means crazy in Malay!

    Chris -- glad you like the moon shot; it made for a very romantic evening.

    Thanks to all of you for visiting and leaving comments!

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  5. Hi Wilma,
    Wow these are very nice shots. I love this woodpecker shots, and even if you had to set up for a long exposure time, I love the atmosphere and the composition... I found the moon shots very relaxing and tend to love this kind of pictures!! Well done and thanks for sharing... I guess your battery are refilled now with such a peaceful day ;-)

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  6. Some nice stuff. Looking forward to getting back out that way this spring. Have to get through the long winter first!

    Larry

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  7. Chris -- it was a very good place to unwind and get recharged by nature.

    Larry -- I think a lot of bloggers will be revisiting warmer days during winter to help get through the dark, cold days of winter.

    Thanks to both of you for your comments!

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  8. A great way to unwind, sitting on the patio like that, and watching what nature brings.

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  9. Hi wilma. Love the moon shots, and the woodpecker silhouette.

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  10. Keith and Tony -- the evening on the patio was a lovely quiet time watching the daylight fade away. Thanks for visiting and commenting. cheers,
    Wilma

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