Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The following photos were all taken on The Nature Conservancy's properties in southern Nevada on a single afternoon, September 29.
Seasonal changes have brought new birds to the area and woodpeckers are traveling along the Amargosa River as they shift from higher elevation breeding territories to wintering areas. 

Sapsuckers are woodpeckers that cut or drill into tree bark and lick up the sap with  long highly specialized tongues. They also eat seeds, fruits,and insects.Another food source is the moist  inner layers of bark. Their chisel-like bills are extremely versatile.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted and Red-naped Sapsuckers are extremely closely related and often hybridize.

Red-naped Sapsucker

The boardwalk at  The Nature Conservancy's Torrance Ranch Preserve provided a relaxing shady spot to sit,and great views of  a Tarantula Hawk Wasp, a Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard, and some excellent Dragonflies and Damselflies.

An Amargosa Toad poses for a close up.

A Greater Roadrunner showed off its hunting skills from a distance.

A little further down the road at Parker Ranch, a couple of  Great-horned Owls enjoyed the shade of tall Cottonwood trees.(If you're interested in visiting Parker Ranch, please email The Nature Conservancy at nevada@tnc.org)

A  Zebra-tailed Lizard demonstrates how to keep one's toes from being burned on an old pipe in the sun. Soon most species of  lizards will retire underground for the winter.

Oasis Valley, Beatty Nevada supports an amazing variety of wildlife. Year round resident species, winter visitors,and
migrants all depend on the habitat provided by the water and vegetation of the Amargosa River and the small springs that are its tributaries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Nature Conservancy's Volunteer DayBeatty, NV

On Saturday June 11th, Volunteers gathered at the Stagecoach Inn in Beatty, NV.  After a short talk about TNC, it's overall  mission, and local objectives, we got to work. We split into 3 groups. The first group walked downstream along thee Amargosa River picking up trash, the second drove to the Amargosa Conservancy's Apfel Park  for some cleanup, weed removal, and maintenance. Group three headed to TNC's Torrance Ranch to build some redwood picnic tables, and remove invasive weeds.

Thank you to everyone! We had a great time, everyone worked so hard to make it a successful day. The weather cooperated with a soft cool breeze and light cloud cover, creating a perfect morning to work outside.

Local residents of Beatty and Amargosa, the Boy Scouts of Beatty, members of the Red Rock Audubon Society, from both Pahrump and Las Vegas, and members of the Amargosa Conservancy, worked together from 9am till noon.

Afterwards everyone met at Torrance Ranch to have lunch while trying out the new picnic tables. Hot dogs, veggie burgers, turkey burgers, a huge salad, some fresh fruit, cookies, and lots of cold drinks kept everyone around till early afternoon. The group enjoyed watching birds, making friends, and enjoying the results from the morning's hard work. It was noteworthey that so many folks from the May 21st, Red Rock Audubon Society Bird Walk came out to help. We are building a Beatty team!

Thanks again everyone. What fun!

Local Boy Scouts from Beatty, NV joined in to help clean up.

 Scouts, and their group leaders, local residents picked up trash along the Amargosa River

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hi Everyone!

The May 21st  Beatty Bird Walk was great fun. With our trip leader Christiana Manville of Red Rock Audubon Society, 41 species were seen. Many first time bird walkers got some great looks at local birds using binoculars provided by The Nature Conservancy.

One of the day's highlights were Western Kingbirds. These large migratory flycatchers come from Mexico and Central America to Beatty and all over Western North America for nesting season. We found a Kingbird nest in a trimmed fan palm at the Stagecoach Inn, and another in a Cottonwood tree at Torrance Ranch.
Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird Nest

Many migrating warblers were moving through the trees. Yellow Warblers also migrate from Central America and Mexico to Beatty and all over North America for nesting season. Their song, "Sweet-sweet-sweet-sweeter than you" can be heard in Willow and Cottonwood trees along the Amargosa River.
Yellow Warbler ( male)

Wilson's Warblers seemed to be "everywhere" as they continue to higher elevations in Northeastern USA and Canada to breed.
Wilson's Warbler at Spicer Ranch (Birders are welcome  on foot,park in designated areas)

A male House Finch was eating seeds from these blossoms along the Amargosa River

Amargosa Toadlets were introducing themselves to the next generation.

A pair of  Black Phoebe (another type of flycatcher) are nesting at Torrance Ranch.
A Black Phoebe

The pair of American Kestrel are very active around their nest tree at Torrance Ranch. From the sounds of the chicks  coming from up in the tree, it will be fledge day soon.
Male Kestrel

female kestrel

The female Northern Harrier gave everyone a great look as she called and circled over her nest. We stayed on the path and we didn't stay long.

(At sunrise, before the bird walk, I was able to photograph the two chicks).
Northern Harrier chicks

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was around Torrance Ranch at sunrise. It was being Harassed by Kestrels, Harriers, and a Northern Mockingbird. (Birds of prey are often dive-bombed or "mobbed" by smaller birds.)
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

We enjoyed the endless repertoire of  this Northern Mockingbird at Torrance Ranch.

We observed this Cedar Waxwing at Spicer Ranch (Birders are welcome on foot, park in mountain-bike parking areas).

More Birds of Beatty Soon!

Below is the bird walk  bird list of 41 species. (Thank you to Angel Poe for posting it.)

  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Wilson's Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat (heard only)
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Common Raven
  • European Starling
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Pine Siskin
  • Killdeer
  • Mallard
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Bullock's Oriole
  • White-throated Swift
  • Western Kingbird
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Gambel's Quail
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • American Kestrel
  • Lucy's Warbler
  • Black Phoebe
  • Northern Harrier
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • hummingbird sp.
  • Plumbeous Vireo
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Say's Phoebe
  • Western Flycatcher
  • American Coot
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Western Tanager
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Barn Swallow

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On April 27th , Beatty was windy. This Great Egret takes a back to the wind strategy.(Parker Ranch) Contact the Nature Conservancy for access.

 At Spicer Ranch, this little pool held some great looking birds! Birders are welcome here if they park in the designated parking area and walk around. Please be respectful of this private property and it's wildlife.
A Long-billed Dowitcher at Spicer Ranch

 A pair of Cinnamon Teal

 Two  Eared Grebe in lovely breeding plumage.

A Black-necked Stilt

 and 5-6 Spotted Sandpipers
 In the upper pond, this non breeding plumage Eared Grebe fished and rested.
Eared Grebe

 A male Ring-necked Duck, I always thought they should be called Ring-billed Duck

Spotted Sandpiper teeter totters constantly bobbing the tail up and down

A female Ruddy Duck

A male Ruddy Duck from across the pond

Several female Yellow-headed Blackbirds rested in the upper pond as well. This one was pretty cooperative. She didn;t seem to mind posing on a windy day.

Pacific Chorus Tree Frog

A silent House Wren explored the boardwalk area at Torrance Ranch

The female Northern Harrier still incubates 4 eggs.

Northern Harrier Eggs
male Northern Harrier (Torrance Ranch)

The female Black-chinned Hummingbird incubates too. Torrance Ranch

 In the southern end of town, an American Kestrel dive bombs an adult Red-tailed Hawk.Kestrels are more maneuverable, and agile than a Red-tail, bit must be quite careful as the Red-tail could easily turn the table if given a chance.
More about Birds of Beatty soon!