December 13, 2012 News

A particularly beautiful Fall is ending, and Winter is arriving with many new birds.   The leaves are falling from the cottonwoods, which had been a brilliant yellow until two days ago.  The sycamores are still holding their bronze leaves, quite a contrast to the big white trunks and limbs.  The juniper, hackberry, and pyracantha  berries are all ripening, bringing in Robins, Sparrows, Juncos, Pyrrhuloxias and others in large numbers.  We have had four White-throated Sparrows for over a month (a hot-line bird in Arizona!), and probably the last Painted Redstart in the canyon seems to be here for the winter, as usual.  A beautiful Scott’s Oriole also appeared a few days ago, and seems to be drinking sap from holes drilled by the Red-naped Sapsuckers who are here for a few weeks.

There are still Blue-throated and Magnificent Hummingbirds, but the last of the smaller hummingbirds departed earlier this week when the night temperatures dipped into the twenties.  Daytime it’s in the sixties, and very pleasant.

The creek is not running here at the Ranch, although it is in South Fork, where there have been rumors of an Eared Quetzal, but no confirmed sightings.  A few years ago one stayed here for weeks.   This is my first posting using a new system, so we’ll see how well it works!    Reed Peters