- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Mt Lemmon

Birding again with Kristen Heimerl from Cincinnati, Ohio, today we headed up Mt Lemmon in search of interesting wildlife and good hiking.

We started at Babad Do’ag, which gave us lower elevation desert species such as BLACK-THROATED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW. Molino Basin was pleasant but not very birdy, so we moved to higher elevation. We watched the nesting PEREGRINE FALCONS for a while, and saw a ZONE-TAILED HAWK near Inspiration Rock.

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Tucson valley from Mt Lemmon

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Near the top of Mt Lemmon

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Pines at Marshall Gulch

Between hiking around the Marshall Gulch, Steward Observatory and Inspiration Rock areas, we added lots more higher elevation birds such as HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, STELLER’S JAY, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, BUSHTIT, RED-BREASTED, WHITE-BREASTED and PYGMY NUTHATCHES, BROWN CREEPER, nesting ROCK and HOUSE WRENS, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, HERMIT THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN and YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.

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Singing Hermit Thrush

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Broad-tailed Hummingbird

The main highlights, however, were non-avian. In particular, this incredible silkmoth [1], which I have given its own post.

I also saw a new butterfly, one which I couldn’t quite figure out until it was identified for me on the amazing resource that is bug-guide.net [2]. I was looking for it in the checkerspot section, but it turns out to be a metalmark, Nais Metalmark to be exact.

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Nais Metalmark

It was also nice to get good views of Cliff Chipmunks, Coues White-tailed Deer, and a nice variety of insects, reptiles and flowers.

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Cliff Chipmunk

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Coues White-tailed Deer

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Bee sp.

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Silver-spotted Skipper

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Flowers

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Penstomens

It was always going to be difficult to match the previous day with Kristen in Madera Canyon [3], but it was still a very productive day on the mountain with very pleasant company. Thanks Kristen 😀