Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Wild Day at The Azure Gate

We have a Wildlife Photographer here from Taiwan (our first guests from Taiwan. It marks the 30th country we have had stay with us). 

He got up early to go looking for birds to photograph. He returned just in time to see a large male Javelina rolling around in the mud:



Then around 6:00 pm, while sitting in the office, our little Bobcat came around. First, she peaked in the door to see what we were doing, then -- as she has before -- jumped up on the wall by the office, walked along the wall, then jumped up on the balcony outside Christine's studio. And there she laid down, cleaned herself, and took a nap. She was there for well over an hour:


We also have a very nice mother and daughter from Oregon staying with us. They got to see and photograph the Bobcat.

And our guest from Taiwan was able to get photos of the Bobcat and the Javelina.

So it was a "Wild Day" at The Azure Gate. Our guest from Taiwan must think it happens daily in America.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today at The Azure Gate

We have had several nesting Anna's Hummingbirds this year, so there are several immature birds "humming" around. Here's a nice close up of a young male Anna's:

Young Male Anna's Hummingbird

And a nice close up of a male Cardinal:


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sweetwater Wetlands

Tried to beat the heat and got over to Sweetwater Wetlands before 6:00 am. Nothing too unusual, although there was a Tropical Kingbird there (along with some Western Kingbirds).

The Tropical Kingbird is one of those rare birds to the United States; the extreme Southeast portion of Arizona the only place in the US. What's unusual is that they are an easier find because they come in larger numbers - like the dozen or so at Santa Cruz Flats the other day.

Here are a few photos from Sweetwater, starting with the Tropical Kingbird:

Tropical Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Vermillion Flycatcher

Bell's Vireo


Red Winged Blackbird

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Birding at Santa Cruz Flats

If someone were to ask me I'd say Santa Cruz Flats is a winter birding site. And certainly when you think of Raptors (including all five Falcons) and the multitude of shorebirds or threatened Mountain Plovers it is one of the very best winter birding spots.

But, I had to go to Phoenix so I though I'd drive through Santa Cruz Flats and see if there was anything interesting.

I could count the Raptors on one hand. And no Shorebirds or Plovers. But that's not to say it wasn't interesting. The big surprise of the day were a dozen or more Tropical Kingbirds:

Tropical Kingbird
But there were other finds as well:


Great Tailed Grackle

Ladderbacked Woodpecker

Western Kingbird
I got two other photos but at the time didn't realize that I somehow accidentally hit the wrong "focus" button and ended up with what would have been great photos. Here there are anyway:
Black Crowned Night Heron

Burrowing Owl

Friday, June 9, 2017

Incinerator Ridge

Christine and I headed up to Incinerator Ridge (Mount Lemmon) on Thursday.  It was a beautiful early morning walk with lots of serenading birds the entire time.

There is usually at least one Abert's Squirrel begging for a photo:

And, of course, Incinerator Ridge is the most reliable place in the United States to find the Red Faced Warbler:

A pair of Stellar Jays were showing off their beauty, here's one of them:

And at the top in the brush was a male Virginia's Warbler. The first photo is diagnostic even though you can only see the underside -- but you can clearly see the yellow breast and undertail coverts with light gray belly, which distinguishes them from all other warblers:

Here a little bit better photo. Although with this photo you can't be sure it is a male, nor is it absolutely clear that it is not a female Nashville Warbler. I guess that's why I like the photo above in conjunction with this one:

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Yesterday, while sitting in the office a young Bobcat came up to the front door and looked in. We looked at each other for a few moments, after which he jumped up on a wall walked along the wall then jumped up on Christine's studio balcony, laid down, cleaned himself, then took a nap.

Here are a few photos:

Wildlife comes to the Azure Gate and feels right at home!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Sweetwater Wetlands

A quick trip around Sweetwater Wetlands yielded the typical birds, yet I did come away with a particularly nice photo of a Common Gallinule I thought I'd share:

Common Gallinule