Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mt Graham, the Finale (for this trip)

Had enough photos left over to make one more post on the trip to Mt Graham.  Have quite a few photos to add, so will start off this post with a photo of a female Black-headed Grosbeak.  Males then to get more publicity than females do in this species, but the female is very different looking and just like Red-winged Blackbird females, they can create a bit of confusion to a novice birder as to what they really are. 

Black-headed Grosbeak-Female

A couple of Pine Siskins also presented themselves to us near a small pool of water where they came in for a drink.  To a novice birder they might resemble a female House Finch at first glance, but their body structure is very different.  Not a flashy bird, but always fun to find and observe.

Pine Siskin

While driving on one of the rocky roads we discovered 4 Wild Turkeys.  This was another enjoyable find.  Definitely not a new bird on my life list as they were quite numerous in southwest Nebraska near the farm many years ago.  However, this was the first time I have seen them since relocating to Arizona.  Not easy to approach them very close, but they did manage to stay together for a pose.

Wild Turkey

Another fairly common bird on Mt Graham was the American Robin.  Belonging to the thrush family, it is a very familiar bird just about everywhere in the United States. 

American Robin

Decided to add a couple more photos of birds that were already featured in my 2nd post on Mt
Graham, the House Wren and the Hermit Thrush.  Both species were fairly common at the various campsites and the House Wrens were all very vocal and active while the Hermit Thrushes would be somewhere near by in shady areas hoping around searching for food.  The photo below is another young fledged bird.

House Wren

Hermit Thrush-Juvenile

Now to add a bit of color into this series of photos, a Western Tanager.  We also observed a pair of Hepatic Tanagers, but unfortunately I was not fast enough to get my camera up for a photo.  Maybe next time, but for now the Western Tanager is still a great bird with dynamic coloring.

Summer Tanager

The last photo is one that I wish I could have captured better as this was a new life bird for me; a Greater Pewee.  We had heard one of these birds calling in the distance.  They have a very unique call which many birders describe as 'Jose, Jose Maria'. If that sounds odd,  just follow this link to the Cornell Ornithology web site and play the song and I think you will get the idea.

This bird had been calling and we knew it was out there but was not coming in to give us any views.  Then just before we headed down a short trail on the south side of the road, I glanced to my right and saw a bird fly from some nearby rocks and into a fork of a pine tree.  I had just enough time to raise my camera and get 3 shots off and then it was gone.  Once I got home and uploaded the photos onto the computer, I realized that it was the Great Pewee that had somehow sneaked in near to us without our knowledge.  So even though it is a bad photo, for now I will use it until I get a better photo in the future.

 Greater Pewee

Love this 'Sky Island' in the desert and you can bet that I will return when the heat of the desert gets a bit unbearable.

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