Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Prelude to Awesomeness

With a meeting planned at Slate Creek Divide with a couple more birders, I headed out early on April 28, 2016, to do a little birding on the way.  I first visited Sycamore Creek and then Bushnell Tank which are both located on Hwy 87, also known as the Beeline Highway.  The actual visit to Slate Creek Divide will be covered in the second post and it was an Awesome visit!

My first stop was Sycamore Creek and as soon as I parked my vehicle, a Bell's Vireo was so noisy and making sure I did not ignore it.  I have the feeling that it might have been feeding young in a nest somewhere close, however, I was not able to locate a nest. But it was actively hunting insects and was carrying one morsel around as it moved from bush to bush.

 Bell's Vireo with prey



Spring time is always a great time to enjoy the birds because many of them are migrating through Arizona.  Some have already arrived and have nested, such as the Bell's Vireo above.  But many more are still arriving.  Different species most generally have a their own migration schedule, so the viewing is an ever changing phenomenon.  

Black-headed Grosbeaks just started arriving a couple of weeks ago and are becoming more abundant. 

Black-headed Grosbeaks

Bullock's Orioles arrived a week or two before the grosbeaks, so they are probably already setting up breeding territories, as least for those that will be staying in Arizona.

Bullock's Oriole

Lucy's Warblers arrived about a month ago and many are already feeding babies about now.

Lucy's Warbler

The Zone-tailed Hawks were found at Bushnell Tank which is about 2 miles from a known nesting pair reside, so there is a good chance this is a second nesting pair, however I failed to find a nest.

 Zone-tailed Hawk


And being the nature lover that I am and intrigued by many different creatures, including butterflies, I take photos of them when offered a chance.  

 Dainty Sulphur Butterfly

 Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Water bugs of some sort on top of the water at a small pool.

After visiting these 2 spots, I then headed up the rough and rocky road to the Mt Pelee Trailhead on Slate Creek Divide where I was planning on camping that night with a couple of others and we will going to do some nocturnal birding.  Stay tuned for part 2 of this 2 part post.





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