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Thursday, April 12, 2018

High Wind Warning

Leaning into it
While we were heading south on the dirt road that skirts the western side of Tortugas Mountain, just before we turned east to follow the trail back up into the high foothills, I spotted a bird that I've only seen in the higher elevations of area mountains:  a Steller's Jay.  Generally they inhabit coniferous forests in the 6,000-to-8,000-foot elevation range, which means the jay could have come from the nearby Organ Mountains 8 miles to the east.  But this individual was firmly perched on an Ocotillo branch at about 4,000 feet, making me wonder if recent heavy winds have somehow pushed the bird out of its normal territory.  This particular Steller's Jay sat obligingly while I took many photos of it, something his cousins at higher elevations rarely ever do.
Allthorn, Ocotillo and Prickly Pear (sung to the tune of "Scarborough Fair")

The new trail

Desert flora alongside the new trail

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Standing to eat Creosote Bush leaves

Still standing

What happened to my right ear tip?

I have never seen a Steller's Jay in the lower desert

Is that where I am?

Missing a lot of petals

Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Full stock of flowers

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Nice photos of the Stellar's Jay--it'll be interesting to see if you get to see it again.

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