Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arizona Part 1 -Tucson area, Mt Lemmon, Saguaro NP

Gambel's Quail, Tucson, AZ, April 7, 2012

I just returned from a week long trip out to Arizona spending time around Tucson.  Yet another successful and interesting trip out west.  The total for the trip included a total of 155 species of birds, 17 new species in Arizona (total now at 205 for the state) and two life birds: Black-capped Gnatcatcher and Flammulated Owl.
Fighting Hooded Orioles, Tucson, AZ, April 7, 2012

Hooded Oriole, Tucson, AZ, April 7, 2012

Red-tailed Hawk, Tucson, AZ, April 7, 2012

Mourning Dove, Tucson, AZ, April 7, 2012
After arriving midday I spent the day around our house rental finding several birds right at the house.  Nothing too unusual but the vocal and active Hooded Oriole provided some great entertainment.
Yellow-eyed Junco, Mt Lemmon, April 8, 2012

Cassin's Vireo, Tanque Verde Wash, Tucson, AZ, April 8, 2012

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Saguaro NP, AZ, April 8, 2012

Black and White Warbler, Tanque Verde Wash, Tucson, AZ, April 8, 2012

Curve-billed Thrasher, Tucson, AZ, April 8, 2012
The first full day in Arizona I spent by making a pre dawn trip up to Mount Lemmon to try for some owls and nightjars.   I made it up as far as Rose Canyon and had Great Horned Owls, Whiskered Screech Owls and Common Poorwills.  I spent a little time around Rose Canyon looking for upper elevation birds before escaping the hordes of people out for their early morning Easter outings.  There was a selection of typical higher elevation birds including a leg tagged yellow-eyed Junco.  I made my way back down the mountain to Tanque Verde Wash and spent a couple hours there.  Highlights included a pair of Harris Hawks, Gray Hawks and a variety of migrant passerines including an unusual Black and White Warbler.  After mid morning I made it back to the rental house and then we headed out to explore the east unit of Saguaro National Park before it got too hot.  By midday the temperatures had reached around 90 so we headed back to find some shade.

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