Monday, June 18, 2018

Dawn at Sweetwater Wetlands - Part I: Raccoon

In my days before the Bed and Breakfast when my wildlife photography "focus" was large mammals, I would try to be at the place with the most potential prior to dawn.

With that in mind, I headed out just before dawn to Sweetwater Wetlands. And, I was rewarded. First, some wonderful photos of Raccoon siblings. I took over 100 photos in about 20 minutes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Miscellaneous Birds of Southern Arizona - Part III

Continuing with some of last week's photos:

Stellar Jay

Turkey Vulture

Yellow Eyed Junco building nest

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Miscellaneous Birds of Southern Arizona - Part II

Part II of miscellaneous birds photographed last week:

Mexican Jay

Red Faced Warbler

Stellar Jay

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Miscellaneous Birds of Southern Arizona - Part I

I've put together a few odds and ends -- photos of birds seen at various places during the past week. Here's part one: 

Ash Throated Flycatcher

Cordilleran Flycatcher

Elegant Trogon

Singing House Finch

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Birds of Sweetwater Wetlands - Part III

Continuing with typical birds of Sweetwater Wetlands:

Vermillion Flycatcher

Western Kingbird

Western Tanager

White Crowned Sparrow

Wilson's Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Friday, June 8, 2018

Birds of Sweetwater Wetlands - Part II

Continuing with typical birds of Sweetwater Wetlands:

Lesser Goldfinch

Red Eared Slider (I know it's not a bird, but I like this tiny one)

Red Winged Blackbird Female


Tropical Kingbird


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Birds of Sweetwater Wetlands - Part I

I've had a chance to get over to Sweetwater Wetlands a couple of times in the past week. While I didn't see anything rare I thought I'd at least share what can be typically found there (in alphabetical order):

American Coot

Anna's Hummingbird

Common Yellowthroat

Cooper's Hawk

Gambel's Quail

House Finch

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Birding the San Pedro River

The San Pedro River offers wonderful year round birding. Springtime brings migrants - the orioles and tanagers are always photographable. Yet it offers a wide variety of other birds as well:

black chinned sparrow singing away at 6:00 am

black headed grosbeak

common ground dove

green tailed towhee

lark sparrow

the seemingly always present western screech owl

white crowned sparrow

and the occasional white tailed deer

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Birding Patagonia Lake

Patagonia Lake is a good birding spot for both waterbirds and riparian birds since a creek runs both into and out of the lake. Here are a few of the day's photos:


Lake Sparrow

Snowy Egret

Spotted Sandpiper

Vermillion Flycatcher

White Faced Ibis

Great Egret and White Faced Ibis

Zone Tailed Hawk

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Warblers in General, Red Faced in Particular

There are 56 species of Warblers in the United States. 50 of those have been reported in Southern Arizona, although 15 of the 50 have less then 12 confirmed historical reports. 

Since Mount Lemmon is right outside our door, I like to go up March to October when I don't have enough time to hit the southern mountain ranges. I suspect that in the 16 years we've lived in Tucson, I been up Mount Lemmon at least 100 times.

Yet, I still love going up looking for warblers. Three weeks ago, a Red Warbler was found and photographed in Rose Canyon at about 7000 feet. It is not one of the 56 species, and in fact it was the first ever Red Warbler seen and reported in the United States. I went up the next day (along with about 300 other people) looking for it, but without luck. (None of the 300+ so it that day or since).

Some days are great -- 10 warbler species. But there are days of not finding any -- or just one or two.

The Red Faced Warbler is a beautiful warbler that is primarily a Southern Arizona only warbler. (Occasionally, there are reports from Southwest New Mexico). 

Over the years I have taken many photographs of Red Faced Warblers. But I must say that this past week I was able to get three of my favorites.  Here they are: