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August 30th, 2015
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Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains

A nice day of birding and photography, getting out of the heat of the desert and heading to a cooler, higher elevation.

Lisa Frank Ave, Tucson:

Starting near the airport, we had to pay homage to the BURROWING OWLS, and got lucky with presumably two family groups together in one ‘flock’.

Burrowing Owl

I-10 at Houghton Rd:

A small flock of LARK BUNTINGS appeared in the sparse desert at the roadside.

Soldier Trail:

We stopped to enjoy the ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTINS, and saw more along Catalina Highway.

'Desert' Purple Martins

Agua Caliente Park:

Classic birds of this park in the desert included VERMILION FLYCATCHER, BELL’S VIREO, CACTUS WREN, CURVE-BILLED THRASHER, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.

Lesser Goldfinch

Soldier Canyon:

As well as great views of some typical desert species such as BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER and BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, we found a lowland migrant TOWNSEND’S WARBLER.

Babad Do’ag Vista:

The only bird of particular note was a migrant WESTERN TANAGER.

Western Tanager

Molino Basin:

Another mixture of migrants such as WARBLING VIREO, MacGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER, and WESTERN TANAGER, and mid-elevation residents, including BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, PHAINOPEPLA, and CANYON TOWHEE.

MacGillivray's Warbler

Molino Basin

Aspen Vista:

We had brief but thrilling close-up view of an adult PEREGRINE FALCON overhead.

Summerhaven:

We stopped to watch the MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD nest, which now has two fairly well-grown young.

Magnificent Hummingbird at nest

The feeders at Mt Lemmon Realty were busy with hummingbirds, with MAGNIFICENT, BLACK-CHINNED, ANNA’S, BROAD-TAILED, and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS all competing for nectar.

Rufous Hummingbird (left) and Magnificent Hummingbird

At the other feeders there, and the nearby Living Rainbow Gift Shop, we watched HAIRY WOODPECKER, STELLER’S JAY, SPOTTED TOWHEE, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and PINE SISKIN.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Hairy Woodpecker

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

Yellow-eyed Junco

The warbler show has slowed down somewhat, but we did manage NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, and HERMIT WARBLERS, and PAINTED REDSTART.

Hermit Warbler

Around town we also noted HOUSE WREN, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, BUSHTIT, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET.

Hairy Woodpecker

Magnificent Hummingbird

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

Bear Wallow Rd:

The star of the show was an OLIVE WARBLER, but we also found HUTTON’S VIREO, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED, WHITE-BREASTED and PYGMY NUTHATCHES, BROWN CREEPER, HOUSE WREN, HERMIT and RED-FACED WARBLERS, and YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.

Pygmy Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Juvenile Yellow-eyed Junco

The CLIFF CHIPMUNKS and ABERT’S SQUIRRELS were good for a laugh, as usual.

Abert's Squirrel

Abert's Squirrel

Seven Cataracts Vista:

Heading home, we added ROCK WREN to the list and enjoyed the spectacular views.

Looking over Thimble Peak from Seven Cataracts Vista

Looking over Thimble Peak from Seven Cataracts Vista

 

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