Sunday, May 18, 2014

Birding Arizona May 14-18 2014 Miller and Ash Canyon-featuring Montezuma Quail

      And the birding goes on.  After hearing a Buff-collared Nightjar a few times in the evening at Madera Canyon, Dian and I decided to see what was happening in the morning.  We arrived at the site on Proctor Road, (where we had heard it before), at 6AM and heard it calling right away.  The sun was just rising and it was calling consistently, close to the road.  I got a poor glimpse of it as it flew off, flying low to the ground. It was also on the ground when it took off.  I reported this on the Arizona birding site and apparently a Mockingbird may have been imitating its' call as Nightjars are not known to sing during daylight hours.  The birds flight was not indicative of a Mockingbird which would fly further off the ground.  We birded other areas and came back to the car at 8:00AM and heard the call one more time.  We waited for about 30 minutes but didn't hear it again.  After hearing, briefly seeing the bird and weighing the possibilities of a Nightjar and an imitating Mockingbird sharing the exact same territory I will stick to my initial conclusion that this was a Buff-collared Nightjar.  Now if I could have only got a picture...
      We got our lifer Montezuma Quail last week up Miller Canyon.  I didn't get a chance for a picture so we headed out there again. and were on the trail at 6AM.  We were about an hour out when we just weren't having any luck so we turned around and started back.  Then we heard a Quail call.  We figured out where the sound was coming from and just watched the hillside.  Then we saw movement.  The pictures are below.
      The Quail bought a trip total to 311.
White-eared Hummingbird Beatty's B&B.  We met Gavin Bieber (a bird guide with clients) here.  We last saw Gavin in March while birding Texas.
Broad-billed Hummingbird Ash Canyon.
Another view of the Broad-billed Hummingbird.
Mexican Spotted Owl Miller Canyon.  Must have had a hard night.
Mexican Jay Ash Canyon
Curve-billed Thrasher Ash Canyon
Anna's Hummingbird Ash Canyon.  Looks weird-see next pix.  The forehead is also red but does not show it here because of the way the sun is hitting it.  I have another photo showing this but it was not of good quality.
Anna's Hummingbird taken outside our condo back home for comparison.  
Orange-crowned Warbler.  Mt. Lemmon
White-breasted Nuthatch Mt. Lemmon.  We didn't see any new birds here but the temperature was great.
Summer Tanager Madera
Cassin's Vireo Madera

The following pictures are all of the Montezuma's Quail
The Quail was about 50 yards away and this is an un-cropped picture.
Cropped.  I have a 300MM lens.
Tighter crop.  I had left my 1.4 teleconverter at home.
This is one good looking bird. 
I believe the time was about 7AM.
This was the last look we had before it disappeared.  We heard it calling again further up the mountain.

Only 2 days left in Green Valley and then it is back to British Columbia.  We will see if we can a few pictures together for one last blog before we go. 

End of this blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.


  1. Congrats! That Montezuma Quail is a real prize!

  2. great images and great blog. what camera do you have. i shoot canon and will be near se arizona in about a week. any advice. good luck in your travels.
    danny hancock

    1. Hi Danny
      I use a Canon 5D MkIII. If you are visiting here I would suggest ebird and
      Great sources for where to find the birds.
      Thanks for looking.