Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
The Rufous Capped Warbler is another rare visitor to the US. When it comes, it comes in much smaller numbers than the Red Faced Warbler. There are just four locations where it has been seen over the years: Hunter Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains, Florida Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains, and Pena Blanca Canyon and Pena Blanca Lake in the Coronado National Forest (all not more than 40 miles from the US/Mexico border.
This photo was taken at Pena Blanca Lake:
|Rufous Capped Warbler|
Thursday, December 22, 2016
The Red Winged Blackbird can be found throughout the lower 48 states year round -- and often in flocks of a hundred or more. Yet, here is one in my list of best photos. I think it is the setting: he's sitting on a downed cattail leaf just above the water and showing off the red on both wings; he's looking directly at me and doesn't seem afraid. You be the judge:
|Red Winged Blackbird|
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The Red Faced Warbler is an uncommon warbler to the United States typically only found in Southern Arizona, though occasional reports from the Southwestern Mountains of New Mexico. Although, uncommon, they often frequent the same location each year making them "relatively" easy to find. Two of those places are Incinerator Ridge and Marshall Gulch on Mount Lemmon. This one, taken at Incinerator Ridge, seemed to want his photo taken:
|Red Faced Warbler|
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I headed out to Sweetwater Wetlands early one morning this past summer hoping to find the Bobcat family. Instead, I found a Raccoon family. And, they surely didn't disappoint. I took a great many photos. I have included two of them here, the first of which is actually my favorite photo of 2016. The mother and her two kits were all precariously "out on a limb," all looking directly at me, all through a sea of green willow leaves, and all in perfect focus. Couldn't have asked for a better photo:
Monday, December 19, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
This photo is included not so much for the "quality" of the photo as it is for the rarity of the animal. The Ornate Box Turtle is listed as "Near Threatened" and to be reported when seen and not disturbed. I found it on a back road in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Arizona.
|Ornate Box Turtle|
Friday, December 16, 2016
The Olive Warbler is only found in southeast Arizona (and Northern Mexico) -- and only above 7,000 feet, and only in Ponderosa Pine trees. So it is a more difficult little bird to find and photograph. I got two photos this year that I liked quite a bit and couldn't decide which I liked better. I find it interesting that it is called an "Olive" Warbler when there is no olive color on the bird whatsoever. I wish I could rename it a Butterscotch Hooded Warbler. Anyway, here are both photos:
|Olive Warbler in Ponderosa Pine|
|Olive Warbler in Ponderosa Pine|
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Up next is Grace's Warbler, a small warbler that lives primarily above 7,000 feet in the tops of ponderosa pines. As such it is not an easy find -- nor an easy photograph. I couldn't decide between two photos I took this year of a Grace's on Mount Lemmon. In the first, the Grace's is nestled in a Ponderosa pine cluster and I love how the yellow breast shines through the cluster. In the second photo the Grace's is perched out in the open (again on a ponderosa pine branch) and I was able to get very fine detail. So here are both:
Saturday, December 10, 2016
The Elegant Trogon is a prized bird from Mexico and Central America that in the past few years has extended its yearly range into the southernmost mountains of Arizona. Found near mountain stream beds containing Sycamore Trees, it is a large colorful bird that "barks" like a seal. This one I photographed in what I believe is the most reliable place to find one --- Huachuca Canyon inside Fort Huachuca.
|Male Elegant Trogon|
Friday, December 9, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Common Merganser is naturally -- uncommon to Southern Arizona yet occasionally found during the winter months. This one I photographed appropriately enough at Christine's "Alternate Universe." There was no water for miles, yet here a water bird usually only found in relatively deep water which enables it to dive for food.
|Male Common Merganser in non-breeding plumage|
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Monday, December 5, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
With the Thanksgiving Holiday over, I have a bit of a break and will try to catch up on my posts. So starting today, and for the rest of the year, it will be my best (or favorite) photos taken this year. I'll do this alphabetically starting with an American Kestrel sitting on top of a Palm tree that had lost its top during the cold January (2016) winter. The photo was taken in what Christine calls "The Alternate Universe," or, on the map Santa Cruz Flats.
Friday, November 18, 2016
The Orange Crowned Warbler is one of the few warblers that can be found year round in Southern Arizona.
Once interesting thing about the Orange Crowned Warbler is that the "orange crown" is seldom seen. But no so it this particular photo. It is as if he wanted to make sure I knew who he was:
|Orange Crowned Warbler|
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Monday, November 14, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
The Lark Sparrow is fairly common throughout the Western United States. Although most sparrows get "classified" as LBBs (little brown birds), the Lark Sparrow actually is quite striking in its head pattern. It is common in open grassy areas with scattered trees usually foraging in the grasses.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
The Loggerhead Shrike is a fascinating bird. It is often seen perched along dirt roads on posts, wires, and scrub brush. It is so focused it is sometimes approachable.
It forages from those perches swooping down to capture its prey on (or near) the ground. Prey includes large insects, lizards, birds, and rodents.
Once it captures its prey it often impales it on a barbed wire fence to eat (or store).
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Terns aren't exactly "common" in Southern Arizona. Yet occasionally one stops at one of Southern Arizona's watering holes on their way south for the winter. Usually, it is the Elegant, Forsters, and Common Terns that stop by.
Here -- again, not a great photo -- but evidence of the Common Tern's presence:
Sunday, November 6, 2016
We have more Mourning and White Winged Doves on our property than you can count. And, though we don't see the Eurasian Collard Dove here on our property, there are several places in Southern Arizona where they hang out. Inca Doves are not abundant, and unfortunately their numbers are declining. We see them only occasionally. Rarer to the US are the Ruddy Ground Dove and the Common Ground Dove. Note: I'm often puzzled by the use of the word "Common" in a name for a bird that is decidedly "uncommon." But ....
Nonetheless, I did come across a Common Ground Dove a few weeks ago. Not a great photo, but an identifying one:
|Common Ground Dove|
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Let me start by saying this is obviously not a great photo. I'm showing it for a couple of reasons. First, sometimes it is very difficult to photograph water birds because they may be too far out in the water for a nice detailed shot. Second, sometimes water birds show up in water treatment plants -- not the most beautiful setting, but worthy of note for rare birds.
Such is the case with the Black Bellied Whistling Duck which is an uncommon visitor to the United States (It is primarily found in southeast Texas and southeast Arizona). In Arizona it is rarely found more than 50 miles from the US/Mexico border.
|Black Bellied Whistling Duck|