Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018
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
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.:
|Ash Throated Flycatcher|
|Black Headed Grosbeak|
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Friday, July 6, 2018
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Monday, July 2, 2018
There are three large (hot) deserts in North America (Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave). Deserts are defined as areas with less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. There are cold deserts as well, the Great Basin being the largest in North America. Las Cienegas is 45,000 acres where the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts meet.
Empire Ranch, part of Las Cienegas, began in 1871 with 160 acres and grew to over 180 square miles. It was the site of over 50 films with a wide range of stars like John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Burt Lancaster, and Steve McQueen. It remains a working ranch today as part of Las Cienegas in a cooperative agreement with the US Bureau of Land Management.
Las Cienegas is a diverse wildlife area with a stable population of Pronghorn (often seen), Javelinas, Gray Foxes, Coyotes, White Tailed Deer, and the endangered Black Tailed Prairie Dog among other animals. As far as birding it has a wide range including many of Arizona's sparrows, all four Kingbirds, both Meadowlarks -- and several raptors. There is also a spring in Empire Gulch which provides water above ground for a hundred yards or more. This creates a diverse riparian area with warblers, grosbeaks, cardinals, tanagers, and other birds.
I'll spend the next few posts sharing photos from Las Cienegas. First, the Pronghorn: