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May 21st, 2015
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Flame-colored Tanager

After yesterday’s exertions, day seven of the tour started a little later, with a stroll in Ramsey Canyon, followed by a visit to St. David, ending at the superb Westward Look Resort in Tucson.

Ramsey Canyon:

The female FLAME-COLORED TANAGER was on her nest, but barely visible. After a while, the stunning male appeared in a nearby tree, carrying food, and posed for a while before feeding his mate and disappearing.

Flame-colored Tanager

Also in the canyon, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, MAGNIFICENT and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS, three calling ELEGANT TROGONS (all of which remained hidden), ARIZONA WOODPECKER, DUSKY-CAPPED and SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS and HUTTON’S VIREOS, HERMIT THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, GRACE’S WARBLER, a pair of PAINTED REDSTARTS with a nest under a clump of grass by the side of the trail, RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK.

Red Rock Skimmer

Ramsey Canyon

Ramsey Canyon

We saw yet another GREATER PEWEE. They seem to be doing particularly well this year.

Greater Pewee

Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David:

Our main target bird was MISSISSIPPI KITE, and we had good views as one flew overhead. Such graceful birds.

Mississippi Kite

Also there, ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, GRAY and ZONE-TAILED HAWKS, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, GREATER ROADRUNNER, BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, a pair of TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, excellent views of a close YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS, and a pair of BULLOCK’S ORIOLES with a carefully-concealed nest.

'Mexican' Mallard (Mexican Duck)

'Mexican' Mallard (Mexican Duck)

Tropical Kingbird

Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David

Westward Look Resort, Tucson:

The usual range of classic desert species were found in the beautiful habitat on the grounds, and ANNA’S, COSTA’S and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS were coming to the many flowers that make this resort special.

As with last summer, there were a bunch of MONARCH butterflies also visiting the flowers. While I do usually see one or two of this migrant species in SE Arizona each year, usually in fall, this summer occurrence is most odd. Last year I surmised they must have been left over from a wedding party that released captive-bred butterflies as part of the ceremony. This year, maybe the same, or maybe they have formed a non-migratory population. Either way, it was an unusual, but rather neat sight.

 

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