When I heard I’d be leading two consecutive trips to Mt Lemmon for the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival, I was a little disappointed as I’d have preferred more variety. As it transpired, scorching temperatures in the lowlands meant that I was ultimately delighted to be taking the tour to high elevation with Scott Olmstead.
Babad Do’ag Vista:
The highlight was a distant GILDED FLICKER on top of a saguaro.
We also found typical desert species such as ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, ROCK and CACTUS WRENS, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, and CANYON TOWHEE. A few migrants were passing through, including NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LAZULI BUNTING, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE, and it was nice to hear a VARIED BUNTING singing in the distance.
The warbler show continued, and while it wasn’t quite as frenetic as yesterday, we still found ORANGE-CROWNED, VIRGINIA’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, HERMIT, WILSON’S, and RED-FACED WARBLERS, and PAINTED REDSTART.
We watched the female MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD that we found yesterday on her nest, where we could see a couple of tiny beaks poking out of the nest.
A male HEPATIC TANAGER was feeding two juveniles nearby.
The feeders at Mt Lemmon Realty were being visited by MAGNIFICENT, ANNA’S and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, HAIRY WOODPECKER, STELLER’S JAY, PYGMY NUTHATCH, SPOTTED TOWHEE, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and PINE SISKIN.
Around town we also saw CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, BUSHTIT, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, AMERICAN ROBIN, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, and WESTERN TANAGER.
Mt Lemmon SkyCenter (Observatory):
At the very top of the mountain we followed a couple of bright RED-FACED WARBLERS, a HERMIT WARBLER and a couople of WARBLING VIREOS as they fed in the aspens.
It was fun to watch a late CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER nest, with an adult feeding three large young on a nest on the side of a building.
We stopped for lunch again at the picnic tables, but were unable to find the Olive Warblers that were present yesterday. We did see ANNA’S and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, a juvenile WESTERN BLUEBIRD, and another TOWNSEND’S WARBLER x HERMIT WARBLER hybrid.
It was a shorter tour than yesterday, so we only managed a brief visit, finding MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, HERMIT and RED-FACED WARBLERS, and YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.
Windy Point Vista:
A quick stop produced CANYON WREN, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and HERMIT WARBLERS, and SPOTTED TOWHEE.