Monday, May 6, 2013
Mt Ord & Sunflower - 4 May 2013
Saturday May 4th, I was joined by a couple of FB birding blogger friends, Kathie Brown and Chris Rohrer, along with Mark Ochs and we went birding to Mt Ord with a stop at Sunflower on the way home. Kathie got a bunch of new Maricopa County birds and Chris got a new life bird in the process as well. By the time the day was over, it was dusty and windy and everything was covered in dust and everyone was exhausted!
It was cool and windy at our first stop on the road up to Mt Ord. We made about 3 stops before we came to the 1688 trail head. And along the way, we saw several Scott's Orioles, which are absolutely beautiful birds all decked out in bright yellow and black with a decorative trim of a white wing bar. Had one land in a shrub right outside my window as I was driving and I couldn't get my camera up and turned on fast enough, but did manage to capture a photo.
Also in about the same general area, we had Rufous-crowned Sparrows and Ash-throated Flycatchers. However, they did not want to pose for us quite as nicely as the Scott's Oriole did.
Once we reached the pine forested slopes we started seeing lots of warblers, but most of them did not want to be photographed. I did manage a few photos of some, but definitely not the best shots on these birds. Photos include a Black-throated Gray Warbler, which was a very common species at this location where it breeds and resides in the summer months. Also have a photo of a Painted Redstart, a dynamically colored bird all decked out in red, white, and black. We also found Virginia's Warblers. I had only seen this species once before but did not get any photos. This time I did manage to get a photo, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Guess it is another one of those birds to come back for.
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Another group of birds, the vireos, were also well represented. The Plumbeous Vireo was quite numerous just about every stop we made. My photos came with a nice stick in front of the bird! We also had Hutton's Vireos and in one case, one of them had found a nice green headed worm to snack on. I did not even realize the worm had a green head until I saw my photos.
Hutton's Vireo with a green headed worm
Another group of birds that was well represented was the tanagers, as we found 3 species during the day. We found the Hepatic Tanager and the Western Tanager in the pines and upper elevations of Mt Ord, and we found several Summer Tanagers in the afternoon when we visited Sunflower.
One of the other birds that caught my eye was a female hummingbird that was flying around a dead log and some dried out pine needles and other litter. Looked strange to me as I saw nothing of interest for it, but once I got my photo, it appears it was gathering nesting material in this area. Also of interest were a Chipping Sparrow and a Dusky Flycatcher.
Anna's Hummingbird gathering nesting material
Among the non-avian photos, we have a couple of flower photos; one is of the lovely Desert Lupine, which was found near the top and a bright red Hedgehog Cactus that was also found at the very top of Mt Ord.
We had a great day together and hope to have many more. Next gathering of us 3 bloggers might be the Tucson area if everything falls into place.