Monday, April 29, 2013

Apr 27-28 2013 Final days in Portal AZ.

We have to rise early here in Portal to get out while the birds are active and before the heat gets uncomfortable.  The area has had many birders here for the last few days looking for the Crescent-chested Warbler.  It hasn't been re-located and few birders are left.  It was nice having the area to ourselves today.  However the warblers seem to have left also.  We occupied our time with hummers and Trogons.  Some ladies told us their host had taken them out owing so we decided we would give it try.  We were amazed at the amount of owl sounds we heard on our final evening in Portal Az.  The Whiskered Screech Owl is above.

Western Screech Owl.  We could not locate the Elf owl which was also heard.
The view from Rustler Park looking towards New Mexico.  Rustler is about 8000 ft. above sea level and it was 17 degrees.  It was 30 degrees in the valley.

We have been searching for Bendires Thrasher for a long time and we finally found a pair close to our campground.
We took a trip up the mountains to Rustler Park looking for Mexican Chickadees.  We didn't find any so we made do with a Yellow-eyed Junco.
This House Wren was also at Rustler.  This was around 8000 ft. above sea level .
A research centre was along the way to Rustler.  We stopped to view their Hummers.  This one is a Blue-throated.

Blue-throated Hummingbird.  I know it's a feeder shot.  When you get a lifer you get pictures any way you can.

This Elegant Trogon was calling incessantly.  I believe it is the same one from my previous blog.
This is the female Trogon.  She flew in and landed beside us.  Obviously the males calls were working.

She seems to be listening intently

Magnificent Hummingbird.  These are large hummers but the Blue-throated seemed a little bigger and would chase this interloper to the feeders, away.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

St. David AZ Apr 24-26 2013 including Portal Arizona area

We had to drive by St. David's Monastery when we left Huachuca so we dropped in for one last look for a Rufous-backed Robin.  We couldn't find it but we did see a few interesting birds.  We arrived in Wilcox later in the day.  We set up the trailer and took for Chiricahua National Monument to look for a reported Crescent
-chested Warbler.  However we had the wrong location.  It was in the Chiricahuas out of Portal Az.
Bullock's Oriole St. David Az.

Green Heron St. David Az.  I knew it was in a pond but very skittish.  I set the camera for a flight shot in case it flew.  It did and I was happy I was ready.
Summer Tanager at St. David Monastery
The trailer at 5:30 AM in Rusty's RV Park outside of Portal AZ.
Looking west from Rusty's RV Park at 5:30 AM towards the Chiracahua Mountains and our birding destinations.  I just missed a full shot of the setting moon.  At my back was the sun rising as seen in the previous picture.
Long-tailed Grackle in the RV Park.
Brewers Sparrows come to a pond at RV park in the morning to find water.
A Virginia Warbler leaps to another leaf up South Fork in the mountains.
A better shot of the Virginia Warbler.  
The Virginia Warbler.  Taken while in pursuit of the Crescent-chested Warbler which hasn't been seen for 2 days
We could hear this Trogon calling.  Birders were lined up along the road hoping for a glimpse.  Finally I spotted it deep in the brush and took a distant photo.  I was happy with the results considering the distance.
Juniper Titmouse.  We have 3 species of Titmouse for our journey now.
A Wilsons Warbler in a peach? tree in the RV park.
I have posted a Black-throated Sparrow in a previous blog but I liked this pose.

Pyrrhuloxia Huachuca Az.
Canyon Towhee.  We were passing this Towhee every day in trailer park and thought it was another Aberts which are quite common.  However when I processed it the computer I realized it is a Canyon Towhee.
Another view of the Canyon Towhee and the grocery list.

This a view in Portal AZ.  The valley between the mountains is one of the routes to great birding namelySouth Fork.

Two days of searching for the Crescent-chested Warbler have failed here in the Chiricahuas.  Many birders are searching and we will give it another try tomorrow.  Ironically we left Sierra Vista area to find this bird and 2 more have shown up back there at Beattys place which we visited last week.  We will spend another day or 2 here and then head back to Sierra Vista.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Apr 22 2013 Ramsey Canyon and Apr 23 St. David AZ

St. David's chapel.
Today was our 3rd trip up Ramsey Canyon in as many years.  This is a Nature Conservancy site.

Although we found a few birds, we find Ramsey not as busy as other areas we have visited.  I did manage a few photos though.

Dusky-capped Flycatchers are quite vocal and common
This one came in close.  It must have had a nest near by as there were 2 in the area.
We noticed 2 birders peering into the trees and went up to investigate.  As we were approaching this female Hepatic Tanager came down to greet us.

After a quick visit it left.  The birders told us they could hear it but they couldn't locate it.  Strange how serendipity can work.

Cactus flower at the top of Ramsey canyon.

I wish I could ID all these lizards and flowers.

I'll bet this one has blue throat in its' name.

There was a report of a Rufous-backed Robin at St. Davids Monastery so Dian and I headed out there first thing this morning.  We met a few other birders there who informed us they couldn't locate the bird.  Neither could we.  Here are some shots of things we did see.
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet.  We thought it was just another flycatcher.
Another view of the Tyrannulet
Wilson's Warbler

Coues White-tailed Deer.  They breed in the spring unlike their northern cousins.  The rains come in August and this provides sustenance for the young ones and their parents.  Very tame in Ramsey Canyon.

Tomorrow we leave Huachuca for Wilcox Az.  We will make this our base for a few days while we explore the Chiricauha Mountains.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Apr 21 2013 Miller Canyon and Beatty's B&B

Beatty's B&B is at the end of Miller Canyon Road.  For a few dollars Tom Beatty will tell you where all the birds are and let you on to the property.  They also have a viewing platform set up for hummingbirds.  Tom told us about a Spotted Owl and where to find Red-faced Warblers.  It was quite a hike up the canyon but we got lucky on all counts.  We even got a Dusky-capped Flycatcher to top it off.  One has to be aware while in this canyon as Mexican illegals use the area for smuggling and entry into the USA.

Self explanatory

Beatty's Land.  A large fire went through here 3 years ago and they barely survived.

Feeders.  They go through 150 pounds of sugar a year.

Dian in the feeder stand.

This Magnificent Hummingbird seems to dislike the mixture.

Magnificent again.

A Broad-billed Hummingbird.

The trail into the Huachuca Mountains and the birds. 

We met a few groups returning down the trail but none had seen this Red-faced Warbler.  It was the highlight of the trip.

Another view.
And one more look.

This Lizard was a beauty.
The Spotted Owl.  Right where Tom Beatty said it would be.

Someone suggested I post a link to a map of the area.  Good idea Joanne.'s+guest+ranch&fb=1&gl=us&hq=beatty's+guest+ranch&hnear=0x86d6d87d2af99db3:0xd931cdb113f84810,Huachuca+City,+AZ&cid=0,0,3722249483684162033&ei=Arl1UdmqA7T9iQLbqICAAw&ved=0CJQBEPwSMAA
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