Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Boyce Thompson Arboretum, 8 Sep 2012
On our way back from the Pinal Mountains on Saturday, Bernie and I decided to stop in at Boyce Thompson Arboretum since it was right on the road. As mentioned in some of my previous posts, this place is one of my favorite places to visit for birding and checking out other critters and the wonderful variety of desert plants on display. It was early afternoon when we arrived which is not always the best time to be birding. It was quiet at first, and the birding seemed a bit slow and we only stayed for about 1½ hours. We found several butterflies and a couple dragonflies and the birding seemed to be the most active right near the hummingbird feeders near the front entrance. One of the birds in that area was a Wilson's Warbler that made some brief appearances along with a Warbling Vireo.
Another bird that made an appearance was a Willow Flycatcher. This just happened to be a new life bird for me and it is one that is a member of the Empidonax flycatcher family, which are notoriously hard to identify at times. Sometimes their song is the best method to identify these birds, but the problem with that in the fall is they can be almost silent and not call very much. The best way to identify this species is it is only one of 2 of these birds that lack an eye-ring and the other bird is an Alder's Flycatcher which common in the eastern part of the United States. It is bits of information like that which helps in the identification of these difficult birds.
And since we were in the hummingbird area, I did manage to capture a couple of hummingbird photos. Anna's Hummingbird which is probably the most common hummingbird in Arizona and they are year-round residents and are quick to come to feeders in back yards in the Phoenix area. The other photo is the Broad-billed Hummingbird. This location is usually the northern most limit of its range and they actually breed at BTA.
And as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, butterflies and dragonflies were abundant, so I would be amiss if I failed to include a couple photos of them. One of the photos is of the Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly which is the state butterfly of Arizona. The second butterfly is unknown to me, but it might be a Cloudless Sulphur. Anyone reading this post and can identify it, please email me or leave a comment. Also included is a dragonfly, possibly a Roseate Skimmer. Identification from someone would be greatly appreciated.
Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly