Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part X

Birding is all about being in the right place at the right time. Not approximately, but exactly since you may only get a glance before it's gone.

The key then is to put yourself in the place with the most potential -- your best chance of finding what you are looking for.

Sometimes that's not always possible. For instance, yesterday I couldn't leave until after I served breakfast to our guests. I started with a quick look at the Alder Picnic site. As luck would have it, there was a nice male Olive Warbler waiting for me.

My next stop was a walk from the Cookie Cabin to Marshall Gulch Picnic site. Again, as luck would have it just across from the Cookie Cabin was a Red Faced Warbler sitting on a branch cleaning himself (for at least five minutes). A little further down, another Red Faced Warbler. There were a few other birds but I think as time passes, birding slows down as more people walk, run, or drive up and down the road.

My next stop was Incinerator Ridge. I started at the bottom but not much going on. However, at the top it was so birdie that it was difficult to keep up. I had to decide what to photograph. I started just taking photos not always sure what I was photographing. Case in point, there were lots of Pygmy and White Breasted Nuthatches -- it wasn't until I got home and downloaded photos that I saw a Red Breasted Nuthatch among the photos. Just one, but it was good enough.

In a matter of three minutes or so, photos of Townsend's, Hermit, and Red Faced Warblers. Then there was another bird that appeared to be a fledgling that I have yet to identify. I'll show that as well. And lots of Hermit Thrushes, Mountain Chickadees, a nice Warbling Vireo ...

My next stop was going to be Rose Canyon Lake, but I was having too much fun at Incinerator Ridge so I never got to RCL. "I ended up taking 604 photos."

Olive Warbler

Olive Warbler

Red Faced Warbler

Red Faced Warbler

Red Faced Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Townsend's Warbler

Warbling Vireo

Red Breasted Nuthatch Female

Fledgling Something (Yellow-Eyed Junco?)

Mountain Chickadee

Yellow-Eyed Junco Juvenile

Monday, August 6, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part IX

On the way back down Mount Lemmon I made a quick stop at the end of Incinerator Ridge hoping to find a Virginia's Warbler. Not a great photo, but I did get a quick glance:

Virginia's Warbler
And a drive through Bear Wallow Road also produced a flock of Wild Turkeys:

Wild Turkey

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part VIII

Birding very early provides an opportunity to find animals, but also Turkey Vultures "en mass" before they head out for the day. Inspiration Point on Mount Lemmon seems to be a favorite site for Turkey Vultures. When I arrived there were three in one tree and seven in another tree just a few feet away. Here are a couple of photos:

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part VII

Driving the Sykes Knob turn off on Mount Lemmon:

Western Bluebird

Young White Tailed Deer Buck

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon Part VI

Still a few more recent photos from Mount Lemmon, here at the Alder Picnic site atop the ridge:

Broad Tailed Hummingbird

Here the Broad Tailed Hummer feeding

The often present Olive Warbler (couldn't get a great photo but...)

Pine Siskin

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part V

And, a few more recent photos from birding Mount Lemmon:

American Robin

Hermit Thrush

Young Yellow Eyed Junco waiting to be fed

Mountain Chickadee

Pygmy Nuthatch

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part IV

More recent photos from Mount Lemmon:

Singing House Wren

Northern Mockingbird

Red Faced Warbler


Wild Turkey

Friday, July 20, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part III

Hooded Orioles seem to like the Molino Basin Campground; enough so that there is often a nesting pair. Here are a few photos of the Hooded Oriole:




Male Singing



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part II

Other recent photos from Mount Lemmon:

Buff Breasted Flycatcher

Grace's Warbler

Hairy Woodpecker

Monday, July 16, 2018

Birding Mount Lemmon - Part I

The Southern Arizona Mountain Ranges are collectively called the Madrean Sky Islands. The Santa Catalina Mountains, or more commonly the Catalina Mountains or even Mount Lemmon, are the largest of these mountain ranges. Mount Lemmon is its highest peak at 9,157 feet. It receives 180 inches of snow each year. It is 18 miles long and 14 miles wide.

There are so many great birding spots on the way up Mount Lemmon that it is literally impossible to stop at all of them in a day.

Here are some of the "hot spots":

Molino Basin Lookout
Molino Basin Campground
Cypress, Middle Bear, and Chihuahua Picnic areas
General Hitchcock Campground
Rose Canyon Lake
Incinerator Ridge
Bear Wallow Road and Trail to Sunset Trail
Sykes Knob Road
Inspiration Point Picnic Area
Alder Picnic Area
Loma Linda Picnic Area
E. Turkey Run Road and Upper Sabino Canyon Trail
Summerhaven to Marshall Gulch
Ski Valley to Mt. Lemmon Sky Center Observatory

Experienced birders will no doubt have their favorites (as do I) and some will have spots not even on this list.

Mount Lemmon is essentially a Spring, Summer, and Fall birding site. Warblers abound in the Spring and Fall; though still quite decent in the Summer.

Over the next few days I'll show some of my latest photos from "birding Mt. Lemmon.:

Anna's Hummingbird

Ash Throated Flycatcher

Black Headed Grosbeak

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part VI

And, now photos from the grasslands of Las Cienegas:


Red Tailed Hawk

Turkey Vulture

Western Meadowlark

Red Tailed Hawk feeding Chick along Highway 83 from Las Cienegas

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part V

Other photos from Empire Gulch:

Anna's Hummingbird on Nest

Anna's Hummingbird putting feathers inside her nest

I love this photo which shows the gulch -- along with a Blue Grosbeak

House Wren

Lucy's Warbler

Pipevine Swallowtail

Sacred Datura

Male and Female Summer Tanagers