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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part IV

I visited Empire Gulch very early one morning and it was so nice I took Christine the following morning. Both times we saw White Tailed Deer and Wild Turkeys. Here a couple of Wild Turkey photos:

I don't remember ever seeing a Wild Turkey in a tree, but there one was. 

Wild Turkey

Friday, July 6, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part III

Empire Gulch which runs behind the "Visitor's Center" has a spring that creates a wonderful riparian area of about 100 yards (before it goes underground). As such it provides a respite from the hot/dry Southwest Summers.

Here the seldom seen Yellow Breasted Chat:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part II

Other mammals at Las Cienegas include White Tailed Deer:

Monday, July 2, 2018

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - Part I

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: