Probably a once in a lifetime lifer for me – this was 2006 and we were staying in a research station outside Portal in Arizona only a couple of miles from the Mexican border. Breakfast was forgotten as a guy came into the dining room and casually mentioned he had heard an Elegant Trogon just down the road. There was a mad rush for cameras and spotting scopes and this was the result. One of the world’s really gorgeous creatures.
British readers will know this bird as a Great Northern Diver but here we know them as Loons, probably because of their maniac laughter calls. The sound of the northwoods it has been described as. For almost twenty years at this time of September we would rent the same cottage at Kenauk and spend the best part of week pottering in the forest boating on the lake, watching birds and harassing beavers … occasionally the odd bear too. This was one of the iconic Loons on the lake back in 2009. We haven’t been there for a while, not since retirement in fact on the basis of get ut while it’s still a good memory (and affordable which it is increasingly less so). Loons are always special though.
Birds are starting to gather and groups and head south before the cold arrives. This was one member of a group of juvenile American Robins (you can tell their age by the spotty chest) that arrived in one of our rowan trees to flop around and snack on a few berries. Scruffy creature.
The closest most birds in the garden come to thistle seed is finding it in a feeder but now our twice-lifesize bull thistle flowers are starting to form seed this American Goldfinch female has found them to be an excellent source of lunch-time nourishment.
Four pictures for the price of one today. The berries on the Amelanchier canadensis tree have started to ripen and are being eagerly devoured by the garden residents. Cedar Waxwings have been occasional visitors, American Robins have been almost constantly seen and then we have a tree-climbing Eastern Chipmunk and a juvenile male Northern Cardinal. Lots of nutrition for the natives.