Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Usery Mountain Park is for the Birds. And the Squirrels.

We carry a bird feeder, pole, and songbird feed with us on our travels. We put it up to enjoy if we are going to be somewhere longer than overnight and it is permitted.

 We thought it was unusual that one of the first visitors was a love bird, but apparently there is quite a flock of the rosey-faced birds who live year-round in the park.

 Not at the feeder: a turkey vulture AKA buzzard.

 Dove (male and female), Quail, white-crowned sparrow in background, Abert's Towhee in foreground.  The quail and doves were paired up: male and female. The male quail are quite territorial; a dominant male was protecting the turf and chasing off all others.

 The male doves are larger and blueish in tone while the females are a dusty brown.

 A round-tailed squirrel joins the party. They look like small prairie dogs when they sit up.

A Gilded Flicker on the feeder, dove and white-crowned sparrows below.

House Finches on feeder, Quail, Doves, and Abert's Towhee on the ground. Note the black mask on the Towhee. 

 Cactus Wren. This wren or another spent quite a bit of time on the rear-view mirror of both the RV and the jeep looking in through the windows.

 Male Quail and a Curved-bill Thrasher.

 Thrasher digging through the seeds and throwing what he didn't like to the ground.

 Bird nest in a chain-fruit cholla.

Playfull Harris Antelope Squirrels:

There were also larger squirrels, one of whom seemed to be in heat.

 The Thrasher is back.

Desert in Bloom - Usery Mountain

And some interspersed sunset pictures. Just because.

Chain Fruit Cholla - they grow as tall as trees 

Creosote bush with closeup below

Ocotillo in all its glory

 Desert Marigold

Palo Verde tree

Jojoba: male above, female below

Buckhorn Cholla in several colors:

 California Buckwheat

Huxley stops to smell the flowers: desert senna  

Moonrise over the mountains.