Another great field trip for the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival, this time to Mt Lemmon.
We spied a HARRIS’S HAWK on top of a church, and pulled over for good views.
Several desert species were seen at close range, including BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, and a splendid male VARIED BUNTING.
Warbler activity along Marshall Gulch, opposite the Cookie Cabin, was excellent. RED-FACED WARBLER was the most popular, but we also enjoyed ORANGE-CROWNED, VIRGINIA’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, HERMIT, and WILSON’S WARBLERS. One warbler appeared to be a TOWNSEND’S WARBLER x HERMIT WARBLER hybrid, being ostensibly like a first-winter male Townsend’s Warbler, but with a broad yellow eye ring and less dark on the face than you’d expect for a pure Hermit Warbler.
To our delight we found a female MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD on a nest, right above the road. Everyone enjoyed great views in the scope.
The feeders at the Living Rainbow Gift Shop and Mt Lemmon Realty had MAGNIFICENT, BLACK-CHINNED, ANNA’S and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, HAIRY WOODPECKER, STELLER’S JAY, PYGMY NUTHATCH, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and PINE SISKIN.
We stopped for lunch at the picnic tables and enjoyed our sandwiches along with good views of a ZONE-TAILED HAWK, and a recently fledged juvenile OLIVE WARBLER being fed by an adult female.
My personal highlight was hearing a calling GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET from Douglas Firs along the trail adjacent to Bigelow Road near the observatory, although we couldn’t persuade it to show. At various points along the road we encountered ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED and GRACE’S WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, HAIRY WOODPECKER, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, STELLER’S JAY, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED, WHITE-BREASTED and PYGMY NUTHATCHES, BROWN CREEPER, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, HERMIT THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, and YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.
We couldn’t rustle up a Black-chinned Sparrow, but we did find a perched WESTERN SCRUB-JAY to end the day.