Sunday, October 22, 2017

Birding Mount Lemmon

There are many very good places to bird in the Catalina Mountains. One of my favorite is Incinerator Ridge. I've had days of finding 10 warbler species there. While this isn't the best time of year since many of the migratory birds have left, I did find Hermit, Grace's, Townsend's, and Olive Warblers yesterday.

Didn't get photos of the Grace's, and the Townsend's aren't good enough to show, but here are some Hermits and Olives:

Hermit Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Olive Warbler

Olive Warbler

Olive Warbler

Friday, October 20, 2017

Whitewater Draw in Early Morning

Getting an early start at Whitewater Draw can sometimes pick up birds that haven't left for the day yet. Such was the case last week. I arrived at dawn and found 20 or so Yellow Headed Blackbirds which were gone within an hour. I also found several Soras that were feeding in more open areas. An hour later they were back in the weed beds and no longer seen. And there were three Black Bellied Whistling Ducks that left within 15 minutes of my arrival.

Here then some photos from Whitewater Draw:

Anna's Hummingbird

Very poor photo of the three Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

Black Crowned Night Heron

Blue Grosbeak

Cassin's Kingbird

Green Heron

Green Heron


Pied Billed Grebe with little ones


Swainson's Hawk

Vermillion Flycatcher

Yellow Headed Blackbirds

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sweetwater Wetlands: Hawks Rule the Day

Cooper's and Sharped Shinned Hawks were abundant at Sweetwater Wetlands when I went the other day. Not uncommon I did find a very willing Green Heron to photograph but with so many bird eating hawks it was challenging to find many song birds. Here are a few photos though:

Adult Cooper's Hawk

Green Heron

Adult Sharp Shinned Hawk

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tanque Verde Wash: Raptors

Here are a few of the Raptor photos from our hike in Tanque Verde Wash:

Juvenile Gray Hawk

Adult Cooper's Hawk

Juvenile Sharp Shinned Hawk

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tanque Verde Wash: Coyote

Christine and I hiked Tanque Verde Wash yesterday. Almost immediately we saw a juvenile Gray Hawk perched in a tree; then rounded a bend and startled a Coyote who disappeared quickly into the brush. Continuing down the wash we encountered many more raptors: Red Tailed, Cooper's, and Sharp Shinned Hawks. 

We also spotted what looked to be a log in the middle of the wash some 200 yards away. But after a minute or so one end of the log lifted up and seemed to have ears. We were able to get closer without being noticed and got some nice photos:

the "Log"

Oops, a Coyote

Still Closer

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pena Blanca Lake Wildlife: Butterflies

Although there were lots of butterflies at the lake last week, I found myself concentrating mostly on birds. Yet, this Pipevine Swallowtail on a Ivyleaf Morningglory was one I couldn't resist:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pena Blanca Lake: Other Birds

Among the other birds, Pena Blanca Lake offers a wide variety of raptors, warblers, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, buntings, and of course sparrows.

Here are just a few photos from last week's trip:

Bewick's Wren

Cooper's Hawk

Lazuli Bunting

Lincoln's Sparrow

Nashville Warbler

Orange Crowned Warbler

Red Naped Sapsucker

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pena Blanca Lake Wildlife: Waterbirds

There is a fairly wide variety of both songbirds and water birds at the lake. At various times of the year you will find a variety of ducks, coots, mergansers etc. But there are also wadding birds including Great Blue and Green Herons:

Great Blue Heron

Green Heron

Friday, October 6, 2017

Pena Blanca Lake Wildlife: Bobcat

Pena Blanca Lake sits about 7 miles north of the US/Mexico border in the Pajarito Mountains. It is stocked with trout and attracts a few people for fishing. Birding is quite good especially in the southernmost areas where the water is shallow and weeded. I like getting there early since it increases the chance of seeing animals. 

Last Monday was no exception. I saw a Coyote on the drive in and then two Bobcats as I was walking around the lake. 

Here are the Bobcat photos:

Bobcat 1:

Bobcat 2:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Birding Patagonia - III

12 miles north of Patagonia sits Sonoita, most noted for its wineries and The Cafe. But just north and east is Las Cienegas National Conservation Area which is 25,000 acres of wonderful grasslands and riparian areas.

It has a wide variety of sparrows, kingbirds, mockingbirds etc. It's probably the best place in Southern Arizona to find the beautiful Pronghorn. So after birding Patagonia I drove through Las Cienegas looking for those Pronghorn. And, yes I found a beautiful male (and a female). The male was taking shade in the 105 degree temperature:


Also along the way a Roadrunner

And since there were literally hundreds of Kingbirds I thought I'd get at least one photo

Monday, October 2, 2017

Birding Patagonia - II

Next up Patagonia Lake:

American Avocet

Black Phoebe


Ladder Backed Woodpecker

McGillivray's Warbler