Near the Twin Buttes Reservoir, there is a low depression where water stands after we have had some rains. Mudders, defined as immature adults that love to play in the mud with their pickup trucks, are always driving their vehicles through it and keeping it pretty well churned up. The water will usually take three or four days to either soak in or evaporate. The area is surrounded by five large mesquite trees. The combination of the trees and convenient water makes it a very nice little birding oasis. All one has to do is to park close by and watch. That is, providing you do it on a week day, when the mudders are absent.
So, that is what Ann and I did the past two days. First we stopped by early in the morning at a local Jack and Jill’s for take-out coffee, a roll and a burrito. We took them with us to this mud hole, parked and set in for a few hours of birding and photography. We spent two to three hours each morning. We saw a total of 28 individual species for the two outings. I will give you that list at the bottom of this post. Here is a sampling of the birds that we saw. Click on any image to see enlargements.
The Yellow Warbler is one of favorite of the warbler species. It is always a joy to see this one in the trees.
I missed a shot of a beautiful mature male Blue Grosbeak. But this young one perched on a branch nearby. Just as I got him in the view-finder and focused he decided to fly. I punched the shutter just in time to catch him as he took off.
Another favorite summer bird is the Painted Bunting. This is the first one that we saw this year as they are just starting to arrive. Thae harsh early morning sunlight did me know favors but I got this acceptable image.
The Orchard Orioles are also new arrivals. The adult male stayed deep in the trees and I didn’t get an acceptable shot of him, but this first year male gave me an opportunity.
I always admire the Canyon Towhees. They are rather quiet and somewhat bland in color, but I still think they have a cerain beauty about them.
There were plenty of Lark Buntings around. This is a female. I had posted a photo of a beautiful male in my previous post.
I believe this one was named by a Mr. Richard Cissell. Kidding!! This weirdly named Dickcissell is another difficult bird to find. I love the coloring.
Ann spotted this flash of yellow in the trees. I was trying to spot it, too, and it finally lit on this branch only about ten feet away. Only then, did I realize what it was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A Yellow-breasted Chat, although not rare, is usually pretty shy and most of the time, very difficult to find. This is only the second time I have ever seen one and had the opportunity to photograph it.
This Cactus Wren was still around, working on it’s nest.
Here is the complete list of the birds we observed during those two days:
- White-winged Dove
- Great-tailed Grackle
- Northern Mockingbird
- Lark Sparrow
- Cactus Wren
- Blue Grosbeak
- White-crowned Sparrow
- Vesper Sparrow
- Barn Swallow
- Brown-headed Cowbird
- Lark Bunting
- Ash-throated Flycatcher
- Painted Bunting
- Bullock’s Oriole
- Ladder-backed Woodpecker
- Northern Bobwhite
- Bronzed Cowbird
- Golden-fronted Woodpecker
- Yellow Warbler
- Western Kingbird
- Yellow-breasted Chat
- Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
- Canyon Towhee
- Curve-billed Thrasher
- Orchard Oriole
A wonderful gallery of colorful birds!
Whoa….pretty impressive for a mud hole!! Beautiful, colorful and most enjoyable!! And I see your sense of humor is still active!! You two crack me up! Thanks for the great photos. hugs
Thanks, Beth. Much fun going there. We both appreciate you. 🙂
Superb, Bob. The Yellow Warbler is brilliant. Lovely sunshine too! Still waiting for ours up here! 🙂
Thanks, Jo. I love that little Yellow Warbler. Hope you get your sunshine soon. 🙂
I always love to see the the yellow warblers. Just hope they get past the forest fires-we are burning up near here.
Thank, Jane. I hope the fires get under control soon.
Great list of sightings. It will be nice to see my first yellow warbler. Things are a couple of weeks ahead of normal with unseasonal temperatures about 10-15 degrees above normal.Just hope the birds can make it around the wild fires.
Thanks, Anonymous. A fun time during migration.
You have some marvelous photographs here, Bob. Great camera work.
Many thanks, John. I appreciate it. 🙂
Wow! I might have to move to Texas! Good job Bob! 🙂
Yes, H.J., at the very least, make a visit here. You might be surprised!
Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing them.
Thank you very much, Tammy.
Great pics Bob! You must be infinitely patient! We, readers, are lucky and spoilt to have photographers like you. It’s super hard to take pics of birds. But you did a great job and I would like to say thank you for sharing. Best, Nataly
Thanks, Nataly. Yes, indeed, I am very patient. I love what I do, and I love sharing and hearing nice comments from readers such as yourself. 🙂