- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://arizonabirder.com -

Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival: Mt Lemmon again

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.

Gilded Flicker [1]

Tucson, from Babad Do'ag Vista [2]

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.

Summerhaven:

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.

Red-faced Warbler [3]

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.

Female Magnificent Hummingbird on nest [4]

Female Magnificent Hummingbird feeding young on nest [5]

A male HEPATIC TANAGER was feeding two juveniles nearby.

Juvenile Hepatic Tanager [6]

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.

Hairy Woodpecker [7]

Birders at Summerhaven [8]

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.

Cordilleran Flycatcher [9]

Cordilleran Flycatcher [10]

Inspiration Rock:

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.

Bear Wallow:

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.