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Another good day of target birding on Mt Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, and the Avra Valley to the west of Tucson.
Incinerator Ridge Rd:
Warblers are always a highlight here, and today they included ORANGE-CROWNED, VIRGINIA’S, ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED, GRACE’S, and RED-FACED WARBLERS.
Also in the area, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, HAIRY WOODPECKER, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, PLUMBEOUS, HUTTON’S, and WARBLING VIREOS, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED, WHITE-BREASTED, and PYGMY NUTHATCHES, HERMIT THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, PAINTED REDSTART, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, and HEPATIC TANAGER.
A view of a perched BAND-TAILED PIGEON, no matter how brief, is always welcome.
At the feeders outside the realty office and around town we also found MAGNIFICENT and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, STELLER’S JAY, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, and PINE SISKIN.
Sky Center (Steward Observatory):
A male BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, a species which has declined dramatically in most of SE Arizona in the past few years, is spending another summer by the feeders around Sky Center at the very top of the mountain. The observatory had an open house today, which meant we were able to get onto the property and enjoy close views of this splendid bird.
Also here, BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, VIRGINIA’S, ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED, and RED-FACED WARBLERS.
A pair of OLIVE WARBLERS is nesting nearby, and WESTERN TANAGER and WESTERN BLUEBIRD were also present.
Avra Valley & Mile Wide Rd Recharge Ponds:
We headed back into the desert in search of more target birds. BENDIRE’S THRASHER was our main goal and I was able to get flight views and saw one running across a distant bare field, but nothing very satisfactory.
We saw a couple of surprise raptors, a late or summering PRAIRIE FALCON near the recharge ponds, and a CRESTED CARACARA over Sandario Rd.
As dusk drew closer, a flock of LESSER NIGHTHAWKS built up, feeding over the ponds.
Also in the area, GREATER ROADRUNNER, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTIN, CACTUS WREN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE, as well as a COYOTE and yet another GRAY FOX.