The 113th annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count takes place between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. We didn't take part, but we did go bird watching Monday. We returned to the Gilbert Water Ranch Riparian Preserve and found even more birds than we saw last month. There were American white pelicans.
And these black-necked stilts.
And we found some black-crowned night herons. We saw some of these early this year in south Texas and were delighted to see them again.
The mallard duck isn't unusual. I think we have seen them everywhere, but they sure are pretty.
I can't identify this small gray and yellow bird. Anybody know what it is? (Carolyn, help)
The large palo verde tree is magnificent, isn't it?
Over the weekend, we attended a Christmas party with several other couples on the street where we are parked. Our hosts, Joe and Isabel, had wrapped gifts for everyone. You could either open a new gift or take one that had already been opened by someone else. It really helped to break the ice in our relationships (there isn't any ice in Mesa except in the freezer). Here is Barbara choosing a gift. Joe and Isabel are in the background to the right.
After the sun went down, we started to gather around a propane heater.
And we came in closer and closer to the heat.
Today we joined the community Christmas dinner. These are the folks we were sitting with.
The decorations for the party were beautiful.