Birding Blog Archives

September 15th, 2011
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White Mountains

I took a couple of days off and spent some time with my ex-wife Melanie and Katie the dog, visiting friends in the White Mountains. It’s a mammoth five hour drive from Patagonia but it’s worth it, as you go through some of southern and central Arizona’s best scenery. A ZONE-TAILED HAWK drifted overhead near Las Cienegas on the first portion of the drive.

We took the dog for a couple of hikes around Pinetop. The forest was lovely and all the usual wildlife was around.


Forest near Pinetop

I was reminded of my first bear sighting in Arizona earlier this year when I finally saw my first ever ELK, a group of eight seen from the car moving through the trees. There was one big male with impressive antlers. Later in the day, near Carnero Lake, I stumbled upon a second group of ELK, these running through an alpine meadow. There were 13 in all with, again, a big, impressive buck at the back, barking commands to his harem. I started the day having never seen an Elk – now I had seen 21!





I spent a while at Greer but was eventually forced away by a thunderstorm. I had a brief look at an AMERICAN DIPPER and spent some time photographing the beautiful MILBERT’S TORTOISESHELLS and other butterflies along the creek.


Milbert’s Tortoiseshell


Milbert’s Tortoiseshell


Milbert’s Tortoiseshell


Common Checkered Skipper

On the way home I stopped off at Jones Water just north of Globe and found a pair of JUNIPER TITMOUSE and a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER. Another stop at The Shores on the Gila River north of Winkleman produced a flyover GRAY HAWK. This is one of the northernmost breeding areas for this species in the USA.


Painted Lady

Another nice trip, with thanks to Melanie, Kevin, Amy, Jonathan and Lily.


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