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’.
I-10 at Houghton Rd:
A small flock of LARK BUNTINGS appeared in the sparse desert at the roadside.
We stopped to enjoy the ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTINS, and saw more along Catalina Highway.
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.
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.
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.
We had brief but thrilling close-up view of an adult PEREGRINE FALCON overhead.
We stopped to watch the MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD nest, which now has two fairly well-grown young.
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.
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.
The warbler show has slowed down somewhat, but we did manage NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, and HERMIT WARBLERS, and PAINTED REDSTART.
Around town we also noted HOUSE WREN, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, BUSHTIT, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET.
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.
The CLIFF CHIPMUNKS and ABERT’S SQUIRRELS were good for a laugh, as usual.
Seven Cataracts Vista:
Heading home, we added ROCK WREN to the list and enjoyed the spectacular views.