After the recent cold spell and snow fall, Madera creek is rushing with chilly snow melt from Mnt Wrightston and Mnt Hopkins. Under these conditions bird watching is still much more rewarding than bug hunting.
A flash of red greets me at the feeders of Madera canyon Lodge: a Hepatic Tananger. This male sports a lively orange-red front while his flanks, back and wings are olive green-gray. Nice! I've mostly seen Summer Tanangers in Arizona, and this time I even get a good look at the yellow-green female at the Kabo B&B further up the road.
I miss theYellow-eyed Juncos. Instead there are Chipping Sparrows and Pine Siskins on the ground.
The clownish, very social Acorn Woodpeckers are always all over the feeders. Their breeding cavities and thousands of acorn smithies in the wooden telephone poles show that the gang stays around year round.
|My favorite Woopecker|
|Acorn smithy holes|
|The characteristic brown back|
Places where birders come together function as information exchanges. A field guide is hardly needed if one has keen ears and doesn't hesitate to ask questions. So in exchange for my introduction of the woodpecker, I get the tip that 'the' Trogon has taken residence at the Kabo B&B.
I find the promised berry-covered bush that had attracted the sole wintering Trogon across the street from the B&B, too far from the road to see whether it is an introduced Pyracantha or a native Madrone. The birds don't seem to care. The Trogon soon swoops down from one of the Sycamores to join a Robin, some Siskins and a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos.
Too bad that he is too intent on those berries to pose for a better photo! But at least all the field marks are clearly visible.
|'Madera Canyon Birds' watercolor of my first Trogon encounter in 1994|