The days are hot, hot, hot so not real favorable in the way of birding or hiking. We did go to one of my favorite birding places in the Verde Valley – Page Springs Hatchery and the Bubbling Ponds. This is the first time I’ve been here in the summer. What a difference a season makes. In the winter when we visit the Bubbling Ponds are full of various species of ducks. During the summer the only ducks using the ponds are resident Mallards tending their young ducklings.
Papa Gambell’s Quail keeping watch
Bettle- stuck its hind end up in the air at us
First time I’ve been here when the trees are fully leafed out – beautiful (Bubbling Ponds – Black Hawk Trail).
Desert Spiny Lizard, I believe
Open field/wetlands area along Black Hawk Trail
Lesser Goldfinches were feeding on the thistle.
These Western Tiger Swallowtails seemed float from one plant to the next. We actually saw seven on one plant.
Not sure what this plant is but pretty.
Thomas the Dragonfly
Yellow-breasted Chat. A surprise find, although common here supposedly.
So green and lush – for the desert.
The plant on either side of the trail is White Sweet Clover, an invasive species. Yikes!!!
Black Phoebe using this nest box as a place to hang out between sallies across the stream in search of food.
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Plenty of bullfrogs in one of the bubbling ponds. Food source for the Great Blue Herons who nest nearby.
One of the bubbling ponds. The ponds are used to stock fish.
Female Belted Kingfisher
Kingfisher … da da da, the bird with the long sharp bill. A bill to kill (sung to Goldfinger).
Great Blue Heron
Lizards abound here.
Meanwhile, back at my parents house this Northern Cardinal male is a colorful customer at the feeder. It especially likes the suet. Now makes regular appearances.
Male Northern Cardinal
In addition to birding we did do a number of hikes. We generally get to the trailhead around 6:00 am to beat the heat. The other day the heat was at record highs (117 in Phoenix!) – got to 101.2 at my parents house. Too hot for me and the birds who made frequent visits to the bird bath. When Jack was watering a plant he had a hummingbird come to the hose and drink from the stream of water.
Bell Rock – Courthouse Butte
The trail at sunrise
This is “red rock” country
Event this garter snake was out early
Canyon Wren – the Wren family is my favorite family of birds
Trying to decide whether to flee or not
Male Phainopepla – love the name
Western Scrub Jay
When we were younger, we climbed up onto this beehive looking rock
Fruits of the Prickly Pear
The sign shows a hiker with the words “slow” below – so that’s me in slow motion
Turkey Creek Trail
This is a seldom used trail that we occasionally hike. We headed out early in the morning before the morning sun bore down on us. Apparently it is also a good time to float in the air – the sky was littered with hot-air balloons. Another bucket list to try some time – I bet the view is amazing – all the red rock formations from above. We hiked about 4 miles round-trip as we didn’t want to be out in the hot sun for too long.
Coyote along side the road. He stopped for a few minutes to check us out checking him (or her) out.
One of those hot air balloons.
Morning sun on the rock formations
The trail – yeah you have to keep your eyes open. Luckily they do have trail markers to help you stay on the right path.
The Sedona area
More fruit of the Prickly Pear – so many different shades or red/pink.
Not sure what kind of oak this is, but the acorns were small.
Love the AZ flavor “yield to” signs.
On the way back home we saw this juvenile Cooper’s Hawk sitting on this soccer goal post. Good vantage point to check out his prey.
This is a favorite trail and I hike it every time I come to Sedona. Sedona is surrounded by National Forest land and has a wealth of trails with varying degrees of difficulty and length. I have been coming to Sedona for over 20 years and there are still a lot of trails I haven’t hiked. And, you might want to experience a Vortex site.
Lots of interesting formations on the trail
Along Oak Creek
A nice trail along the creek. This trail is the Templeton trail which connects to Baldwin Trail.
Bee on a Morning Glory flower
Mallards in the creek
An Osprey in search of breakfast
Up close view
Baldwin/Templeton Trail along the creek
Who is that lizard?
Sunning on the rock
The Ocotillo is very green this year
Despite the heat, it has been nice to experience the Sedona area in the summer. But more travels await us as we head to Africa. Until then ………………………… It’s A Great Day to Bird