Another beautiful cactus. It looked like the little flowers were poking through snow! The white was a fibrous material. I saw several birds including cactus wrens plucking this fluff presumably for nesting material. All of the cactus blossoms were of hot, vibrant colors. No pastels to be found.
I don't know what these blooming trees are, but they seemed to be everywhere. I've got to get Pam to suggest a trees of AZ book before I go back there.
Another lifer- the verdin! This little gray bird with a lemony yellow head and rusty shoulder patch was gathering downy plant material to add to its nest. The verdin builds a spherical nest made of thorny twigs and lined with feathers, hair or fur. It has a side entrance with a spiky twig overhang- all designed to deter predators. I watched these little guys for a long time and noted all of the field marks to make a good id.
Here's another bird that I believe is a Curve-billed Thrasher. I'm hesitant on my id because the curve-billed thrasher appears more gray in the field guide. I saw quite a few of these birds on our trip. They seemed quite comfortable around people. I got a great chance to watch them when we played a long game of mini-golf. A pair was nesting in a tangled cactus in the middle of the course.
Another view of the curve-billed thrasher, though not a great picture. I tried desperately to get a clear picture, and finally as I was headed back to the car there was a pair on the sidewalk only three feet away. And Art had the camera- on the other side of the lot.