Thursday, October 13, 2016


I'm referring to the fauna, not the yahoos!

During our evening walk around Pima Lake my sister and I were thrilled to see, in one area, two Canada geese, mama duck, but not here little ducklings, and a blue heron.  The heron doesn't like company and always flies away when we approach.  The geese and the duck are more accustomed to having people around.

Mama Duck is a white bird with some beige feathers in patches here and there.  A few years ago there were always a pair of ducks here, Mama and her mate, a pure white duck.  We had often speculated on which of the pair was the male and which was the female, but really couldn't tell.  The pure white duck disappeared about two years ago.  We don't know what happened to that duck--perhaps he was caught by a coyote.

This year we saw mama duck with a whole flotilla of ducklings following here, all dark feathered with nice yellow bills.  Well, that told us definitely that the white duck with the beige feathers was the female of the pair.  Tonight we didn't see any of her ducklings and that's worrying.

It's worrying because there often are coyotes in the village.  This is rather surprising since our community is no longer the one at the edge of the desert.  The border between urban population and desert has moved north from here over the last decade.  Friends who live north in what was at the time the farthest urban setting once saw a lynx when out for their evening walk.  They quickly returned home.  I've seen coyotes here more than once.  That's surprising also because we live in a walled, gated community here.  But they do come in occasionally.  There are lots of ducks and geese here, and also small dogs.  The rule is that a dog must be on leash at all times, but I've heard of them being snatched off patios in the village.  And there is a population of bunnies running around the village, also an inviting target for a coyote.

Also paddling around in the lake were a pair of coots.  At least, we think they were coots, but rather hard to distinguish in the dark, as they are black except for yellow beaks.

Sometime this week I looked up from the pool and saw a beautiful large eagle flying overhead.  Hawks are a common sight, and also pigeons or doves.  Quite often you can hear beautiful bird song and not be able to see the bird.  They are hidden in the dense foliage of the trees.  Hummingbirds are also a frequent sight.

Our final treat of the evening was a tiny lizard that scampered across the cement sidewalk just in front of us.  Very noticeable on the cement, but almost invisible once he reached the grass on the other side.

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