Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

Ahhh, the doldrums of a hot summer in Arizona!  When the month of June rolls around and it leads into the month of July, birding in and around the greater Phoenix area almost comes to a standstill, at least for me.  Not because of the lack of birds, but due to the lack of my enthusiasm of being out in the heat with temperatures in excess of 105° F on a daily basis.  

About the middle of July a friend from Wisconsin, Jeff Galligan, decided to visit Arizona to do some birding and I agree to show him around for part of his visit.  We headed south from the Phoenix area and spent our first 2 nights at the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon.  During this time we visited several spots including Mt Lemmon, Madera, Canyon, Sierra Vista, and Miller Canyon.  Rather than list every stop we made, here are some photos from this 2 days of birding and getting to know nature.

 Broad-billed Hummingbird

 Black-chinned Hummingbird

 Hermit Thrush

 Juvenile Olive Warbler

Red-faced Warbler

Slime Mold

 Antlion - vella fallax

 Berylline Hummigbird

 Cassin's Sparrow

 Chiricahuan Leopard Frog

 Beetle - Chrysina beyeri

 Clark's Spiny Lizard

 Giant Mesquite Bug

Golden Banded-Skipper

 Magnificent Hummingbird


 Orange-edged Roadside Skipper

 Woodhouse's Toad

 Yarrow's Spiny Lizard


From here we headed to Sonora, Mexico, and spent 2 nights at Rancho El Aribabi.  It was peaceful and relaxing and we had no internet access and had the place to ourselves.  We could come and go as we pleased on our own schedules, but I will admit, that I got a little tired of turkey sandwiches!

 Unknown bat species

 Big Poplar Sphinx Moth

 Blue Grosbeak

 Common Ground-Dove

 Five-striped Sparrow

 Summer Tanager

 Thick-billed Kingbird

 Tiny Checkerspot

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

 Broad-billed Hummingbird

 Bewick's Wren

 Canyon Towhee

 Dusky-capped Flycatcher

 Gray Hawk

 Sonoran Mud Turtle

 Vermillion Flycatcher

Yellow-breasted Chat

After 2 nights there, we then headed north east and re-entered the US at the Naco Border Crossing and then headed to the town of Portal, Arizona, in the Chiricahua Mountains.  This was one spot in Arizona that I had not yet visited and was hoping I could finally add the Mexican Chickadee to my life bird list.  And we succeeded in that venture, but got less than satisfactory views of 2 of them and no photos to document them.  So it looks like a another trip is in the future for this area.  But I thoroughly enjoyed this area and know that it is everything they say it is and more.

 Blue-throated Hummingbird

 Coue's Deer buck

 Gambel's Quail male with chicks

 Gambel's Quail female with chicks

 Hooded Oriole

 Monsoon storm building over the Chiricuahuas

 Montezuma Quail

 Praying Mantis

 Pyrrhuloxia - recently fledged

 Pyrrhuloxia - male

 Pyrrhuloxia - female

Rad Satyr

 Black-throated Gray Warbler

 Fiery Skipper


 Painted Redstart

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard

What a whirlwind of sites and locations, with a lot of great birds and being able to add one more lifer to my list, the Mexican Chickadee.  Lots of photos in this post, may take some time to download.