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Daryl

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That time of year when baby birds sometime need a little assistance when they land in the yard, Dove are doing their thing,  and a hunter watches everyone from high above..

Curve Billed Thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre
  fledgling that had to be rescued ..then moved to a better spot. ( Mom was starting to dig through stuff in " off limit " areas near the patio where batches of seedlings are placed ) Interesting that while i was moving it back out front ( Nest is up in the Olive out there ), the neighborhood Grackles were making alert calls alongside mom ( or dad )

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Eurasian Collard Doves, Streptopelia decaocto

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American Kestrel, Falco sparverius  making a just - after - sunset  appearance high up in one of the Washingtonia next door..   Waiting to see whats for dinner.. Lots of House Finches and Sparrows around here.  An hour earlier and it would have been easier to photograph.

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More " Yard Birds "

Great Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus  .  Male, Picture #1,  Female, Picture #2


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Gila Woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialis ( Female )

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Male Gila hanging out on the wall..

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Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna  playing hide and seek..

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Scaly, modern Dinos ..and winged " Dragons ":

Damselfly sp.


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Possibly a Variegated Meadowhawk, Sympetrum corruptum.

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Ornate Tree Lizard, possibly a green- throated, non - dominant male.

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Desert Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus magister

Female.


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Male, though not the most colorful dude encountered that day..
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Hardest workers in the garden, making sure there will be a good crop of seed on Guaiacum coulteri this year..  Will be interesting to see which native bee sp. are attracted  once the Grape Scented Sage starts blooming once Monsoon Season is underway.  Unlike Non native Honey Bees, native sp. like diggers are often " buzz " pollinators ..essentially  briefly locking themselves in place on a flower, then making a buzzing sound to spread pollen to the female parts of the flowers.

Anthophora species ..There are at least two common Digger Bee Sp. here, Urbane and California..  Another, Anthophora marginata is more common in S. Central Mexico, but may be present in low numbers in parts of the state and southern New Mexico.


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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Here's one from today.   A female or immature male Satin Bowerbird.    They're usually quite timid but bread on the table tempted this one closer than normal.  Hopefully I can get a good pic of an adult male If I persist long enough.

 

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Male Giant Daddy- Long-legs, Artema atlanta  out wandering on a warm May evening ..Looking for love, in all the wrong places..

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Scared of 8 legged things?, Time to get over that.. As long as they're outside, haha :)

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1 hour ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Male Giant Daddy- Long-legs, Artema atlanta  out wandering on a warm May evening ..Looking for love, in all the wrong places..

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Scared of 8 legged things?, Time to get over that.. As long as they're outside, haha :)

The male trapdoor spiders are usually active here when it rains; which can make for difficult barefoot walking.

Also, watched a pair of jumping spiders attempt to mate earlier this week, but it appears the male survived the encounter. 

Edited by amh
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3 minutes ago, amh said:

The male trapdoor spiders are usually active here when it rains; which can make for difficult barefoot walking.

Also, watched a pair of jumping spiders attempt to mate earlier this week, but it appears the male survived the encounter. 

We have Trapdoors, though i haven't encountered any out in the desert yet,.. May do some post storm road cruising looking for stuff once we start getting rain. That should bring out the Tarantulas as well.

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The satin Bowerbird is usually quite timid but my persistence eventually paid off with some good pics of a male bird.

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What a beautiful bird! Amazing lavender eyes! Great bird shots, well done.

Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Dunno if it counts cuz he lives here, but here's Sancho in Tiny Jungle. 

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Winged things from another local suburban Oasis.

Gila Woodpecker, Melanerpes uroypegialis  Male.


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Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Dryobates scalaris  playing hie and seek..

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Black Phoebe, Sayornus nigricans one of our smaller Tyrant Flycatcher sp.

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Brown Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater  Male.

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Red - winged Blackbird, Ageliaus phoeniceus  Male..

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Gambel's Quail, Callipepla gambelii  Male.

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Black necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus..

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...............Dragonflies: ......................

Western Pondhawk, Erythemis collocata


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Mexican Amberwing, Perithemis intensa

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Noid species.. Possibly a Meadowhawk, But could also be a Female Pondhawk.

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Carolina Hawk / Sphinx Moth, Manduca sexta  making an appearance on the patio ..and my face.. last night.  Similar looking to the Tomato Horn worm / Five Spotted Hawk Moth, Manduca quinquemaculata which is also fairly common here.

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If only i had some  Plumeria fowering for you to pollinate buddy. 

 

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3 hours ago, amh said:

A visitor to Arroyo Palma.

I don't know my turtles, so is it a slider or cooter?

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Tough call.. Both Sliders and Cooters have shells that are flatter/ less domed, ..but, definitely isn't a Box either ( shell is more domed / Red or Orange colored iris of the eyes.. )  Chicken Turtle comes close  ..But doesn't fit exactly either. View of the Plastron might've offered a few more clues.  Regardless, may be a female looking for a place to nest, so you may have lots of babies roaming around soon.

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On 5/26/2022 at 3:46 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

Carolina Hawk / Sphinx Moth, Manduca sexta  making an appearance on the patio ..and my face.. last night.  Similar looking to the Tomato Horn worm / Five Spotted Hawk Moth, Manduca quinquemaculata which is also fairly common here.

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I found a relative of this one drowned in my small fountain. I learned was a pink spotted hawkmoth, different coloration, pink and black. Kind freaked me out, i'd never seen one before. I left the carcass on the pavement and sure enough, it disappeared the 2nd night, probably consumed by a skunk or possum. 

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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24 minutes ago, Kim said:

I found a relative of this one drowned in my small fountain. I learned was a pink spotted hawkmoth, different coloration, pink and black. Kind freaked me out, i'd never seen one before. I left the carcass on the pavement and sure enough, it disappeared the 2nd night, probably consumed by a skunk or possum. 

Skunks,  or maybe even ants.. Have seen our native black fire ants dismantle a Cocokroach and somehow drag the parts into their nest..  Kind of morbid,  but also interesting, imo.

As much as people aren't fond of Hawk Moths dining their Peppers and Tomatoes, many forget that the moths are extremely important nocturnal pollinators. Here, if you have a couple Sacred Datura, or native Nightshade species growing in your yard,  away from where you might plant valuable crops,  a majority of  the common Hawk Moths will use those plants as hosts for the caterpillars.

Here's an article discussing their importance in pollination.. A mention about the extinction of a Hawaiian native ( ..And the Hawk Moth species that pollinated it ) in the article as well. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-of-natural-history/2020/06/22/why-hawk-moths-are-underdogs-pollinator-world/

Some common species also use plants in the Nyctaginaceae, IE:  Four- O - Clocks,  A weedy, warm season plant called Boerhavia, ..and Allionia ( Trailing Windmills ).  Last year, you could not drive or hike anywhere just outside of town w/ out seeing ..or accidentally stepping on / running over  countless White Lined Sphinx caterpillars once Monsoon season was underway..

The " population boom " cycles will often make the news when an " Army " of them wander into neighborhoods from adjacent areas of the desert or weedy fields.

On a side note, while most people wouldn't expect it, Arizona, ..Southern AZ esp.  boasts a pretty attention- worthy diversity of large, and fairly exotic looking Moths.

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@Silas_Sancona That was an interesting article. Not sure why I haven't observed that particular moth before. From what I've read they are common enough in Southern California. In Hawaii there are 2 moths commonly seen: the huge Black Witch Moth that settles for a sleep under the eaves of houses, and another that, at first glance, can appear to be a hummingbird hovering over a flower. Of course there are no hummingbirds in Hawaii; it is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. 

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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3 hours ago, Kim said:

@Silas_Sancona That was an interesting article. Not sure why I haven't observed that particular moth before. From what I've read they are common enough in Southern California. In Hawaii there are 2 moths commonly seen: the huge Black Witch Moth that settles for a sleep under the eaves of houses, and another that, at first glance, can appear to be a hummingbird hovering over a flower. Of course there are no hummingbirds in Hawaii; it is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. 

We have day- flying Hummingbird Hawk moths..  but haven't observed any yet.. Same with the Black Witch, even though they're supposedly quite abundant locally during the summer.

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18 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Tough call.. Both Sliders and Cooters have shells that are flatter/ less domed, ..but, definitely isn't a Box either ( shell is more domed / Red or Orange colored iris of the eyes.. )  Chicken Turtle comes close  ..But doesn't fit exactly either. View of the Plastron might've offered a few more clues.  Regardless, may be a female looking for a place to nest, so you may have lots of babies roaming around soon.

The pictures are not too recent, but I posted them because I never had a good identification. The shell had a decent dome, was about a foot long and I don't remember the iris color. I just knew it wasn't a box turtle.

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7 minutes ago, amh said:

The pictures are not too recent, but I posted them because I never had a good identification. The shell had a decent dome, was about a foot long and I don't remember the iris color. I just knew it wasn't a box turtle.

Here is a picture of the back. The light was low because of time of day and canopy, so the shots are a bit blurry.

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Grey Butcher & Satin Bowerbird (female) with immature Blue Faced Honeyeater

 

 

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Edited by steve99
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21 minutes ago, steve99 said:

 

Grey Butcher & Satin Bowerbird (female) with immature Blue Faced Honeyeater

 

 

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Love that second shot!

Gold Coast, Queensland Latitude 28S. Mild, Humid Subtropical climate. Rainfall - not consistent enough!

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2 hours ago, Daryl said:

Love that second shot!

 Thanks Daryl.  It came out OK.   Although ISO at 12800 and having to crop it wasn't ideal.    Hoping to improve on that when we get some nice sunny days.

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Monday morning walk in the park crittters..

Queen, Danaua gilippus


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Random Dragonflies..

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Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata.

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Say's Phoebe, Sayornis saya

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American Sand Wasp, Bembix americana

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2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Monday morning walk in the park critters..

American Sand Wasp, Bembix americana

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*** Correction *** 

Upon further homework, Sand Wasp species  may belong to the Genus Steniolia, ..rather than Bembix.   Solid, Black " cap " atop the Thorax ( Bembix ) / Lack of fuzziness ( Bembix has more ), & more yellow along the sides of the Thorax / yellow banding on the Abdomen ( Steniolia ) vs. white washed light yellow or blue -ish ( Bembix ) would differentiate the two.

Fyi, for the wasp- terrified, hung out near  the middle of the sand pit they were nesting in.. Not a single one acted aggressively.. If anything, they were skittish ..not willing to settle on the sand  within 3ft of where i was seated.

Steniolia:


https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/143902-Steniolia

Bembix americana:

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/53072-Bembix-americana

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What's good, Mr. Lizard? You out here eating mosquitoes? 

 

Anole chilling in one of my C. Cataractarum

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John, loved that last picture of Sancho on top of the stairs.  He has the biggest smile on his face.  He looks so happy.  Cecile

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Another year, another ..somewhat early appearance of  Poecilanthrax effrenus, One of the Banded Beeflies.

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Couple other species in the same Genus occur locally,  as well as some others in a few other Genus, adding a little confusion when trying to properly ID.  Easiest way i've found is noting specific details related to coloration ( Thorax / Abdomen / Wings ) and overall size of an individual to determine who it may be.  Majority contribute to pollination, though the larvae of some do consume the larvae of ground nesting Bees.

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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