Boyce Thompson Arboretum

March 18, 2015
My friend and house guest, Sharon, wanted one more visit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum before returning to Ontario the end of this week.
Under a totally overcast sky at 8:30 a.m., we noticed immediately that the Turkey Vultures had returned in full force. We counted 45 in the process of lifting off from trees and cliff sides.  Later, we noticed a kettle of many more (including the 45) high over the eastern part of the Arboretum.

The Bell's Vireo was making its presence known as we strolled down the slight hill to the Hummingbird Garden where we saw four Anna's Hummingbirds at one feeder, so I used that number on my list.  It's hard to get an exact number when they race to and fro individually; is it the same bird or a different one?  There was only one male present along with three females.

The Demonstration Garden revealed some good birds, including another Bell's Vireo, along with its colorful and fragrant blooms.

Sharon at Lady Banks Rose Trellis


A striking Broad-billed Hummingbird struck a pose for me, as did a Northern Cardinal as we continued strolling.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Me, with Picket Post Mountain rising above the Arboretum cliffs

Northern Cardinal

In the picnic area, we saw additional Inca Doves to those spotted in the Demo Garden and, as always, the Abert's Towhees were scooting around beneath the picnic tables and scratching at the edges of large shrubs.

Before wrapping up, I noticed a flower that I had seen only once before and that was in Death Valley, CA.  And, here it was again at Boyce Thompson Arboretum - Desert Five Spot.

Despite a gray sky, our two-hour walk was filled with plenty of birds and blossoms!

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