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Starting at an eye-watering 3:00 a.m., we hit Mt. Lemmon looking for night birds before transitioning to the day shift on the mountain, which proved to be rather cold and windy.
Night birding is always tough, and we were left a little disappointed with our haul. We heard a couple of WHISKERED SCREECH-OWLS and saw an ELF OWL, with a possible Flammulated Owl calling a couple of times in the distance that never materialized. COMMON POORWILL and MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL were also calling, but failed to show themselves.
Incinerator Ridge Rd:
We enjoyed views of the ever-popular GREATER PEWEE, OLIVE WARBLER, and plenty of RED-FACED WARBLERS.
Also along the road we found STELLER’S JAY, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, PYGMY NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, HOUSE WREN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, HERMIT THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, YELLOW-RUMPED, GRACE’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and HERMIT WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, SPOTTED TOWHEE, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, as well as some cool ABERT’S SQUIRRELS.
A female CASSIN’S FINCH was a nice surprise at the feeders outside the realty office, which also attracted STELLER’S JAY, PYGMY NUTHATCH, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and PINE SISKIN, along with the obligatory CLIFF CHIPMUMKS.
It was particularly cold and windy and the restaurant had taken its hummingbird feeders down, so we didn’t linger long. We did get good views of MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, a superb male WESTERN BLUEBIRD, and an obliging YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.
Our main target here was BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER which was found with relative ease near the Lizard Rock Group Site. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER and another male OLIVE WARBLER were added to the list.
Seven Cataracts Vista:
A ZONE-TAILED HAWK sailed overhead.
Bear Canyon again:
Wrapping up the morning, we birded the same areas that proved tricky at night, this time encountering HAIRY WOODPECKER, singing GREATER PEWEE, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, PLUMBEOUS and HUTTON’S VIREOS, PYGMY NUTHATCH, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, YELLOW-RUMPED, GRACE’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.