Saturday, July 28, 2012
Pinal Mountains, 28 July 2012
Made another trip to the Pinal Mountains this morning since the higher elevation is much more inviting than the heat in the desert. It is a long a winding road to the top, but the temperature was a cool 65 degrees at the top and very refreshing. Got to meet the residents in the cabin with the hummingbird feeders and they were so cordial and invited me in for a cup of coffee. They have several hummingbird feeders in their yard and the hummers are everywhere. The regular visitors are Broad-tailed, Anna's, Magnificent, and Rufous Hummingbirds. Today I realized that even though I have seen Broad-tailed Hummingbirds many times, I have never gotten a photo of one. So I decided to make that a priority and the birds did not let me down.
In addition to the Broad-tails, there were several Rufous Hummingbirds and below are photos of both a male and a female.
Everywhere I stopped I heard Spotted Towhees calling and saw about a dozen or more. They are a beautiful bird, but most generally do not like to pose for a camera by hiding in dense vegetation. Found one today that must have had a streak of exhibitionism as it really put on a singing show for me out on branches in the open.
Also in the area near the top, the House Wrens which I found a couple of weeks ago now have fledged some babies and there were House Wrens all over the place. Who knows, this might even be the same bird I photographed on my previous trip.
One last stop on my way down the mountain produced some Black-chinned Sparrows. This photo is a female or possibly an immature bird. The males in breeding plumage have a nice black patch on their chin and around their beak. This species is unique in the fact that it has an all gray head which is a bit similar to some of the Dark-eyed Juncos. This species of sparrow also has a fairly long tail compared to many of the other sparrow species.
There is so much more to explore at this wonderful haven east of the Phoenix area and I have a lot more future trips planned to return to the Pinal Mountains.