Beating the Summer Doldrums

Some people call it the dog days of summer.  Either way, it a somewhat boring time of the year for me.  The heat usually keeps me indoors and it keeps the birds from showing up.  Since I have had several weeks of trying to get my blood pressure meds adjusted, I haven’t been able to get out much.  But, after seeing my good doctor a couple of days ago for another adjustment, I think he has finally got it right.  I have been feeling the best that I have in two or three months.

Ann and I decided to finally do some serious birding yesterday morning.  For a change we drove down to Eldorado to visit our friends, Sid and Suzanne Johnson, and got them to go with us.

Our first stop was at the City Water Ponds.  It wasn’t a good time to be birding there, since it usually is home to all sorts of water birds, but of course, they are pretty much absent until the end of August or early September.  However, we saw some Red-winged Blackbirds in the reeds and an American Coot.  Around the outer fence line we saw a few Lark Sparrows but that was pretty much all she wrote.

So we then decided to drive out County Road 2596.  It a great birding road; no traffic to speak of, so we can creep along the shoulder at a slow speed, and there is great habitat on either side of the highway.  There we had much more success, and added two more birds to our 2014 Big Year list;  Bell’s Vireo and an Orchard Oriole.  That brings our current total to 172.  We should reach our goal of 200 by the end of the year.

There is a Crested Caracara nest a few miles out, but the birds were not  in the building.  Overhead we saw what we thought was a Red-tailed Hawk.  I took a long range photo, but when I got it magnified in the computer, I discovered it was a Swainson’s Hawk.  In all we saw a total of 32 species.  Not a specially great day, but the fun is in the hunt.

Here are a few photos from yesterday, and also from the past few small outings that Ann and I took.

Curved-bill Thrasher

Curved-bill Thrasher singing his song.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - he can sing, too.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – he can sing, too.

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal - female

Northern Cardinal – female

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

House Finch

House Finch

House Finch - femals

House Finch – female

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird – female

Painted Bunting - getting a bath.

Painted Bunting – getting a bath

Hope you enjoyed the photos.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.  To see my entire gallery go to