Saturday, May 31, 2014

Townsend's Warbler

Back to my alphabetical series on my "5" Star Photos we come to the Townsend's Warbler. This beautiful little black throated warbler is found through the coniferous forests in the western US. It is very similar in size and pattern to the Black Throated Gray Warbler -- with one exception: it is yellow on its head, face, and breast where the Black Throated Gray Warbler is white. (The BTGW has a dot of yellow on it's head above its eye). It have photographed them in the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Catalina Mountains of Southern Arizona.

Townsend's Warbler

Friday, May 30, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part X

And, finally:

Bell's Vireo

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Downy Woodpecker

Painted Redstart

Hammond's Flycatcher

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part IX

Some miscellaneous:

Pygmy Nuthatch

Hermit Thrush

Yellow Eyed Junco

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part VIII

Then there's the Spotted Towhee and Canyon Towhee:

Spotted Towhee

Canyon Towhee

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part VII

Or Canyon Wrens, Rock Wrens:

Canyon Wren

Rock Wren

Monday, May 26, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part VI

Or a beautiful male Cardinal sitting on Ocotilla at Molino Canyon Vista:

Northern Cardinal

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part V

Or how about a gorgeous Western Bluebird at 7,000 feet:

Western Bluebird

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part IV

How's this for fun. Could pass for a bird from Costa Rica. But, just a slightly nervous Stellar Jay:



Friday, May 23, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another Birding Trip Up Mount Lemmon - Part II

And the Rare to the US (Southern Arizona and New Mexico), Red Faced Warbler:





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Another Birding Trip up Mount Lemmon - Part I

As things slow down here at The Azure Gate --- our off-season is beginning -- I have made a couple more trips up Mount Lemmon. Lots of good birding starting with the Molino Canyon Vista, then Molino Canyon Campground, Rose Canyon Lake, Incinerator Ridge, Marshall Gulch, and the roads to Mt. Bigelow and Mt. Lemmon observatories.

Here are some of the best, starting with a Western Tanager, who like my granddaughter Ruby, loves to have his picture taken:




Friday, May 16, 2014

Is Birding Hiking?

Hiking is a way to get exercise in Nature's Wonderland instead of indoors at a gym. Often I'll hike with Christine in Saguaro National Park. It is essentially a hike: 2 to 5 miles at about 3 miles per hour. Although I usually take my camera, I am not actually birding, I am out for exercise -- and, besides most of the birds that I might find in Saguaro National Park I can find in my "backyard." But I take my camera .... just in case.

Birding, on the other hand is stopping along the trail to enjoy nature's birds (flowers, animals etc). We have some wonderful guests that have been staying with us every year we have been open (12 years). They have become good friends. And, we have done many hikes with them. They were here for the second time this year just last week. They usually come in January or February. But May is great birding, so our "hike" in Huachuca Canyon was a little more like "birding". We did walk nearly four miles -- but it took four hours.

Birding is a bit challenging for me since I am deaf. I can hear birds now that I have a Cochlear Implant, but since only one ear "hears" I can't tell where the bird sounds are coming from. We heard the Elegant Trogon several times, but it was Bob who found him. The Trogon was about fifty yards up into the woods sitting nicely on the end of a branch. 

Here are a few of the photos from that hike, or birding trip:

Spotted Towhee

Elegant Trogon

Dusky Flycatcher

Summer Tanager Female





Monday, May 5, 2014

Birding Mount Lemmon, Arizona

Nice trip up Mount Lemmon yesterday after breakfast. Three stops: Rose Canyon Lake, Incinerator Ridge, and Marshall Gulch. Very good birding and some very nice photos:

Black Throated Gray Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Red Faced Warbler

Dusky Flycatcher

Hermit Thrush
Also seen but without good photos: Short Tailed Hawk, Buff Breasted Flycatcher; White Breasted and Pygmy Nuthatch, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Black Headed and Evening Grosbeak, Painted Redstart, Rock and Canyon Wren, Yellow Rumped Warbler, and more Yellow Eyed Junco's than I could count.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tiger Longwing

Here is a Tiger Longwing found in the Peruvian Amazon -- which is a yearly visitor to the Tucson Botanical Garden's Butterfly Magic exhibit. Really quite a lovely butterfly:

Tiger Swallowtail

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Three Tailed Tiger Swallowtail

The Three Tailed Tiger Swallowtail is one of the rarer swallowtails found only in Texas, Southeast Arizona, and Mexico. This particular one, however, I photographed at the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, Arizona:

Three Tailed Tiger Swallowtail

Friday, May 2, 2014

Texas Horned Lizard

Continuing with my alphabetically series on my "5" Star Photos we get to the Texas Horned Lizard. This lizard is often called a "horny toad" however it is neither a toad or a frog. It is a lizard with the "horns" that protrude from its head being of bone.

I found this one in the desolate area of Cabreza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge where ground temperatures can exceed 130 degrees in the summer. Yet this guy seemed just fine:

Texas Horned Lizard

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sweet Four O'Clock

Every once in a while some other than wildlife catches my eye and begs for a photo. Such was the case with this Sweet Four O'Clock (Mirabilis jalapa). Usually cultivated and found in gardens, this one I found in the Guliuro Wilderness:

Sweet Four O'Clock