Thursday, June 7, 2018

More Western Birds

Brown Crested Flycatcher
Ladderback Woodpecker
Inca Dove at Desert Museum
Pyrrhuloxia in the neighborhood
Acorn Woodpeckers were seen at the park and at Mount Lemmon.

Great Tailed Grackle at Agua Caliente Park
I found many Black Tailed Gnatcatchers in almost every habitat.
Rufous Winged Sparrow at Desert Museum

Arizona Mountain Birds

Drive up to Mount Lemmon yielded brilliant blue skies and delightfully cooler temperatures and some special Western birds.

Yellow Eyed Junco
Western Tanager
Mexican Jay
Steller's Jay
Black Headed Grosbeak
House Wren

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Hummingbirds of the Sonoran Desert

A separate post for these fun little birds! We only have one hummingbird, the Ruby Throated that frequents North Carolina with any regularity (Rufous are sighted from time to time in migration, but they don't usually linger) so I knew I'd be in for a treat with these hummers local to the Sonoran Desert in Tucson. They like the mountains and parks and backyard feeders so there are lots of chances to spot one.
Black Throated Hummingbird on Mount Lemmon
Rufous Hummingbird at Desert Museum

Anna's Hummingbird at Desert Museum
Costa's Hummingbird at Desert Museum
Broad Billed Hummingbird at Desert Museum
Magnificent Hummingbird on Mount Lemmon
Broad Tailed Hummingbirds on Mount Lemmon

Birding in Arizona

A much needed vacation in Tuscon, Arizona over Memorial Day weekend yielded terrific sights and sounds plus pictures of many birds added to my lifelist. Here's the Top Ten:

The ubiquitous White Winged Dove (insert Stevie Nicks' song here)

Gila Woodpecker
The Cactus Wren is as common in Arizona 
as Mockingbirds are in North Carolina.
Curve Billed Thrasher


I tried to get a photo of the many Gambrel's Quail 
families I saw crossing the road, but they were too quick!
As stunning as the Vermillion Flycatcher is,
it is very common.  I saw it in parks,
neighborhoods, and casino parking lots.
This Road Runner was very tame and tried to get fed some Indian Fry Bread.

A pair of male and female Lesser Goldfinches 

Hooded Oriole

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Yates Mill and Mid Pines Road

                                                                                                        Since it has been years since I have been to Yates Mill and I actually FORGOT MY CAMERA the last time, it was definitely time to head back. Word on the street was that there were a lot of warblers seen here in the last week. Before those temperatures creep higher as we head toward summer, now seemed the opportune time to hit the trail.

I was immediately greeted by this friendly Eastern Wood Pee Wee.
Nice Phoebe posing for me.

I had never photographed an Indigo Bunting before
so I was glad to get a willing subject this time.

Here's a lifer for me although not a great shot: Common Yellowthroat.
I really toiled over the ID of this one, but the total lack or wingbars or any really distinguishing
features and the fact that it was in the same area seconds before makes me think
that it is the female Common Yellowthroat.

Now look at this! I assumed this was only the ubiquitous Carolina Wren, but it's lack of spots on the wings and unusual posture on the tree trunk plus the fact that fellow birder Alan told me that these were in the area, lead me to believe this is a Swainson's Warbler! What a lucky find! Lifer!

Here's the Carolina Wren just for contrast and comparison.
They are very similar, but have some key differences.
Also, I heard the Swainson's song on the trail.

A fellow birder who I met on the trail suggested I head up the road to Mid Pines Road which is  literally only 3 tenths of a mile away, so why not?
Eastern Meadowlark alerted me to his presence
with his pretty song.
These Eastern Kingbirds were everywhere. I thought they were
Tree Swallows, but the white on the tail gives them away.
A couple of pretty girls met me near the road between
pastures of the Ag Lands at NC State. 😆