Thursday, April 25, 2013
Huachuca Canyon, Day 2 - 16 April 2013
After being blown around on Monday by the gusty winds, Larry had an appointment with another couple to go back to Huachuca Canyon again on Tuesday morning, and they invited me along. And since we were planning on leaving early, we hoped to miss the afternoon winds from the day before. So, with Jan and Dave joining us, we headed back and explored the canyon once again and this time we found a little more diversity on the birds. The highlight of this trip was a Red-faced Warbler, which was a new bird for both Jan & Dave. I have seen a couple before, and have never gotten very good photos in the past. I did succeed a bit better on this viewing with photos; still not great, but much better than the past. This is a warbler that is usually found at elevations above 6000' in habitats of conifers mixed with oaks and is a summer breeder in primarily Arizona and New Mexico. To many birders in the US, this is a very sought-after bird as it is unique when compared to all the other warblers. Its markings and coloration is very distinct.
Another bird that we saw was the Arizona Woodpecker which is one that can be found in the southern and eastern areas of Arizona. Still looking for a good photo of one as this one did not stick around long enough for photos. Just gives me another excuse to travel south once again!
We also had a couple of similar looking Myiarchus flycatchers. There are 3 species in this family that can be found in Arizona in the breeding season with a 4th species that has recently been documented as breeding in Arizona for the first time and maybe a first for the United States, the Nutting's Flycatcher. But the 3 more common species are the Ash-throated, the Brown-crested, and the Dusky-capped Flycatchers. Not always easy to tell one from the other, especially for novice birders, but as one sees them more and more, one learns their calls and that is most generally the best way to identify them. On this day we had both the Dusky-capped and the Brown-crested. I was able to identify both by their calls as confirm the ID's.
Last photo is one of a new butterfly for me, an Arizona Hairstreak Butterfly. This was a fairly small butterfly, but I thought it to be quite beautiful. This all ended my trip down south as I headed back to the city suburbs and rested up for a couple of nights, then headed north to higher elevation and above the Mogollon Rim. What a contrast! Future blogs will definitely show the difference.
Arizona Hairstreak Butterfly