Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mount Lemmon after the Fire: Part III

Christine and I were on Incinerator Ridge for about an hour and a half. And almost the entire time we could hear two Ravens squawking. At one point one of the Ravens was creating sounds neither of us have heard before. One of the calls was very low in pitch so I couldn't hear it at all. Another was a knock-knock-knock that at first I thought was a woodpecker. Christine thinks that it was a young Raven who couldn't find or hear his (her) parents because it seemed distressed. We watched the young bird as it made several different calls. Eventually the mother came around and the two flew off together.

After during a little research on the subject, fifteen to 30 categories of vocalization have been recorded for this species, most of which are used for social interaction. Calls recorded include alarm calls, chase calls, and flight calls. The species has a distinctive, deep, resonant prruk-prruk-prruk call, which to experienced listeners is unlike that of any other corvid. Its very wide and complex vocabulary includes a high, knocking toc-toc-toc, a dry, grating kraa, a low guttural rattle and some calls of an almost musical nature. So I guess what we heard was normal -- even though some of those calls we had never heard before.

Here is a photo of that young Raven:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mount Lemmon after the Fire - Part II

Mount Lemmon is still closed to camp fires, although that should change soon because we are now in our Monsoon Season and it is getting plenty of rain.

Christine and I came across a singing Hermit Thrush. It was a lovely serenade that lasted several minutes. Here are a couple of those Hermit Thrush photos I took:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mount Lemmon after the Fire

Mount Lemmon has been closed for the past couple of weeks to fight the Burro Fire which has burned nearly 28,000 acres. It reopened on Friday to the general public so Christine and I headed up to hike Incinerator Ridge and see what birds were still hanging around.

While not particularly birdie, we did come across some birds: red faced warblers, hermit thrush, mountain chickadee, bridled titmouse, white breasted nuthatch, brown creeper, and a couple of ravens. Oh yes, and of course, one of the most common of birds on Mount Lemmon, the yellow eyed junco.

Here are a couple of Red Faced Warbler photos I took:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saint Gertrudis Lane, Tumacacori Part VII

And finally some miscellaneous photos from the Santa Cruz River:

Summer Tanager Male

Vermillion Flycatcher Female

Broad Billed Hummingbird Female
 As I was standing on the near side of the river I noticed a bird sitting in a tree on the other side. I took a photo only to realize after taking the photo is was "just" a dove -- which we have hundreds of at any point in time here on our property. However, when I uploaded the photo from my camera I noticed that it was actually an Inca Dove -- as opposed to a Mourning Dove or White Winged Dove. So I was pleasantly surprised. I realized that there was something compelling me to take the photo even though I didn't know what it was at the time:

Inca Dove

And finally, a bird flew into one of the trees along the river giving me less that a second to snap the photo. Usually I take the photo first and identify it second. The problem was he was gone before I could identify it. Again, it wasn't until I got home and uploaded the photos that I realized what I had:

Blue Grosbeak Male

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Saint Gertrudis Lane, Tumacacori Part VI

Further down the Santa Cruz River at Rio Rico, the pond adjacent to the river turned up a pair of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Saint Gertrudis Lane, Tumacacori Part V

Also present and available for photographing were a couple of Lucy's Warblers:

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saint Gertrudis Lane, Tumacacori Part IV

What excited me the most was finding two (!) Yellow Breasted Chats.

Usually very secretive and seldom seen, yet at 6:00 am there was a gorgeous male singing away atop a tree near the river:

Then about 30 minutes later I found a second Yellow Breasted Chat  down low in the brush -- again along the Santa Cruz River: