Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Saturday, April 4, 2015

AAAA+ - An Amazing Arizona Adventure

This past week, I had the pleasure of birding once again with Tommy DeBardeleben and joining forces with a birder from the great state of Minnesota, Josh Wallestad.  Josh was visiting Arizona and wanted to add a few new birds to his life list and Tommy offered to show him around for a couple of days and invited me to join them.  So a two day bird trip to southeastern AZ was planned in the middle of the week.  Josh's main two target birds were the Painted Redstart and the Elegant Trogon.  Tommy and I knew the Painted Redstart would be easy, but the Elegant Trogon has the potential of being a hit or miss. And of course there were several other birds that could be added to his list as well. 
 
On Tuesday, Tommy and I picked up Josh on the way to Tucson and our first destination was Mt Lemmon just on the east and north side of Tucson. We made our way to Rose Canyon Lake and it did not take long to start piling up on the life birds for Josh.  Painted Redstarts were everywhere and success was quickly in the books and crossing off the first of his two target birds.
 
 Painted Redstart
 
Painted Redstart
 
Buff-breasted Flycatcher and Olive Warbler were a couple more that we added for assurance.
 
 Buff-breasted Flycatcher
 
 Olive Warbler - Female
 
Olive Warbler - Male
 
After finding about 8 new life birds on Mt Lemmon for Josh, we then ventured further south to Florida Canyon which is not far from Madera Canyon.  This location has been a spot for Elegant Trogons this past winter, so this was going to be our first try for this bird.  Alas, it was not meant to be, as we did not have any luck in locating that bird at this location.  However, we did have some rather cool birds to add to our list.
 
Broad-billed Hummingbirds were plentiful at many stops in the lower elevations and in Florida Canyon we had some stunning males, and also an attentive female tending to her nest.
 
 Broad-billed Hummingbird - Male
 
 Broad-billed Hummingbird - Female on nest
 
  Broad-billed Hummingbird - Female on nest
 
 Broad-billed Hummingbird - Female on nest
 
Another stunning bird was a male Rufous Hummingbird.
 
 Rufous Hummingbird on left - (photobombed by a Broad-billed Hummingbird on the right).
 
 Rufous Hummingbird - Male
 
Rufous Hummingbird - Male
 
A Hooded Oriole was another nice addition.
 
Hooded Oriole
 
But the bird that stole the show in Florida Canyon were a couple of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets.  At only 4½ inches in length, this is the smallest flycatcher in the United States.  It is so small that it can go undetected very easily if it does not move.  I had only seen this bird once before on a trip to Graham County in July of 2014 with Tommy.  So this sighting and viewing was really awesome as they really stole the show and allowed a lot of photos. 
 
 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
  Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
 
After Florida Canyon, we made a brief stop at the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon before taking Josh to meet his family in Green Valley.   Tommy and I had plans to camp out in Madera Canyon and then meet up with Josh again the next morning.  Once darkness fell, our evening turned into some more great birding.  More to come in the second part of this 2 day adventure. 
 
  

4 comments:

  1. Gordon, your photos are top-notch, especially of the nesting Broad-billed! I didn't even stop to look at her--too much else going on!

    Thanks for the great trip. I'm looking forward to your part 2 since I didn't get to experience that.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Josh!

      Will try to get part 2 posted soon, part of it will include a few photos from Wednesday as well. It was definitely a great two days of birding!

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  2. Fantastic crushes Gordon, those Tyrannulets are indeed beardless, but they are no less the smart subject for it.

    Awesome!

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  3. Killer photos Gordon and a great blog post. What fantastic shots of the tiny flycatcher! Good grief! I think I'll be seeing one of these Tyrannulet shots on your 2016 calendar, right?

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