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









22 thoughts on “Beating the Summer Doldrums

  1. We’ve got a yellow-billed cuckoo hanging out in our crepe myrtles. It’s the first we’ve seen this species on our property since we moved here. Brilliant photos, as usual.

    • Thank you, my dear friend, I appreciate you commenting. We have seen more Yellow-billed Cuckoos here this year than I have seen in the past five years. Right now, the birds are getting out of the heat, like I am. 104 yesterday.

  2. I really enjoyed your blog today. So glad you are feeling better. It is indeed to hot to get out and enjoy much, so I am glad you took us on a bird tour. Pretty good at it, too!! hugs to you and Ann

    • Thanks for the comment, Jerry. The migration usually starts here in early September. I guess it takes the birds that long to travel from Michigan to here. 🙂

  3. Bob, Why do they call it a black chinned hummingbird when it does not have a black chin? I shot this one in my front yard the other day, I think this is the same kind as the one in your post but I’m not real good with the I.D stuff yet. Confirm? Gene M.

  4. So very glad to hear you are feeling better and that the meds are finally getting straightened out! So many wonderful shots here, I especially liked the black-chinned hummingbird – wowza! And also the curved-bill thrasher and the painted bunting taking a bath!

    • Thanks so much,Sheen, for both of your comments. Glad you like the photos. Coming from a great photographer such as you, your compliments are greatly appreciated. 🙂

  5. These are beautiful! Glad you are feeling better….that TX and sun…be careful. Love your new images. Bronzed cowbird is such a striking bird. You captured him beautifully!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s