After such an exhausting day on Saturday, I met up with fellow birder/blogger Kathie Brown at the Agua Caliente Park in the eastern part of Tucson. This was the first time we have met in person, but knew each other a little bit by our blogs. I highly suggest checking out her blog site as she can present a different perspective that is always informative: http://kathiesbirds.blogspot.com/
We met at Agua Caliente Park with a goal of trying to locate a Northern Beardless-Tyrannlet which this location has been a good spot for many birders and evidently bred here. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to locate this small flycatcher so we settled for some other birds and critters instead. it was a great spot for birds including a Rufous-winged Sparrow that made its presence by singing in some of the dry grassy areas.
Also nearby in the morning hours were a couple of Coues (pronounced cows) Deer, a small southwestern version of the White-tailed Deer.
We left my car there while Kathie and I explored Mt Lemmon and later in the day when we returned we also found a few more discoveries. A Harris's Hawk came in for a landing and I have to thank a Lark Sparrow for being so cooperative and allowing some decent photos. What a handsomely marked sparrow! Kathie also discovered a Vermilion Flycatcher nest, and I am convinced I must be losing my eyesight as it took a long time for me to find it. However, the nest was hard to see and we did not want to interrupt the birds by getting too close. The photo says it all.
Vermilion Flycatcher and nest
From there, Kathie drove, (thanks again for offering to drive Kathie), and we then headed up the road to Mt Lemmon. We made several stops on the way up and found birds at each stop. One of the stops while still in the desert habitat included a Rock Wren and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. What was neat about this stop was that we had 2 different species of gnatcatchers and 3 species of wrens, (unfortunately, I was only able to get 2 photos out of those 5 species of birds).
One of the most exciting stops was at Rose Canyon Lake and we hiked the south trail and got some wonderful birds, including a Yellow-eyed Junco that decided it liked us because when it saw us taking photos of it down lower on the ground, it decided to fly up into the tree right beside us and pose for our cameras. What a dynamic looking bird with that awesome bright yellow eye!
Also seen at this location was an Osprey, a Mexican Mallard, and a Pygmy Nuthatch and its nesting cavity.
The Mexican Mallard is not considered as a separate species at this time, but a sub-species of the common Mallard. At one time it was a separate species.
Also at this location we found a nest in progress of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, thanks to another couple that advised us where to look. But even then it was almost impossible to find, but thanks to Kathie's eyes we finally spotted it. The nest is pictured below, but the photo of the female Broad-tailed hummingbird was actually taken at almost the top of Mt Lemmon.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird nest
Once we reached the top we enjoyed a small pizza and a LARGE cookie and found that the Yellow-eyed Juncos were everywhere at the top. What a great day of birding and seeing some great birds and having a great guide really enhanced the trip. Hope to do more birding in the future with Kathie and maybe we can persuade another birder/blogger, Chris Rohrer to join us.