Welcome to my photo journal.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some favorites from the end of April

 April sure went by fast and it is time for us to start thinking of heading north.
Here are some of my favorite photos from this week.
Above is morning light on the mountains we see from our RV.
 I thought this group of boulders looked like a person praying.  It's taken up at Mt. Lemon.
 This Painted Redstart is one of the birds that SE Arizona is famous for.
 We went to watch the hummingbird banding again Sat. afternoon and this time I got to release one of the tiny birds.  This isn't me, Ken took some photos of my release and I haven't seen them yet.
My little bird turned out to be a special little lady, a Black Chin Hummingbird as they all were Sat., she was missing 6 tail feathers so she survived an attack from some predator. She was  9 years old, the average life of a hummer is 5 years, they have had one 10 years. She didn't stay in my hand very long as soon as the handler let go she was gone sometimes they will sit for a few minutes.
 We saw our first Arizona Sister Butterfly today, isn't she beautiful.
I've been wanting to get a photo of Arizona's state butterfly the Two tailed Swallow but they never lite on anything.  They even tease me by flying around my head. 
 We saw the trogans again and here is the female Elegant Trogan not as colorful as her mate.
How's this for a proud boy, they are a different specie of turkey then the ones back home believe it is a Gould Turkey.
I have been keeping track of the number of  bird species we see in AZ and so far we have seen 204 species and 50 of those species are from SE AZ.   We have been able to add 26 new birds to our life list and we still have another day or so in AZ. 
Hope everyone had a great week. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A warm week

They have changed the format of blog spot so I am trying to learn how it works. So we'll see how I do.
This week has turned very warm so we have been getting up earlier to go birding.  Here are some of my better photos of the week.

 Since I am not getting very good bird photos, I have some butterflies, flowers
 Hummingbird moth
 oh, here's a nice bird.  It's the Elegant Trogan.
We saw a pair again this week up at  Huachuca Canyon which is in Fort Huachuca the army base in Sierra Vista.
They are nice to let us birders go in with just showing our ID.
We took a drive up Carr Canyon, here's a view from the road.  There is a primitive campground at the top in the pines. Much of the canyon was hit with the Monument fire last year. It's pretty but it should almost be listed as a four wheel drive road.
Our little car has been pretending it's a four wheel high clearance vehicle our entire stay here as most of the roads we go on are rocky and nasty.
Well, let's see how this turns out.
I previewed it and I still have to figure out a few things.
  Why couldn't they leave things the way they were!!!
Till next time, have a good week.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Owls, winds and chill

We had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets this week, here is my favorite sunset.
If you follow me on Facebook you know we saw our grail bird, the Elegant Trogon, Monday, my photos weren't very good as it was in the shadows of the trees.
Friday turned out to be a good birding day for us as we had this N. Pygmy Owl and a Whiskered Screech Owl pointed out to us in Ramsey Preserve. The Pygmy was right out in the open on a dead looking tree just right next to the path but he is so small most people would miss him. He is only around 7 inches tall. The Screech Owl, she is in her hole in a sycamore tree just off the path, the owl makes that a regular spot to nest so regular birders know where and what to look for and they are nice enough to point it out to the visiting birders.
This photo is taken off of one of Ramsey's paths and you can see the various trees here as it is at a higher elevation and has a little stream which makes it good for birding.
The lower elevation where we are staying has only scrub mesquite trees and grasses but we see a good number of birds at our RV park. This morning I heard a Great Horned Owl. We have a couple of regular visitors a pair of cactus wrens, curved-bill thrasher. At the clubhouse where there's the only allowed feeder there's quail, black-throated sparrows. We have also seen a pair of western kingbirds, a Say's phoebe, a green-tailed towhee and today I spotted a lark sparrow.
We took a drive to Coronado National Monument where the Monument fire started last year in June. The fire went over the mountain and down the canyons toward Sierra Vista. Then July the monsoons came and then there was flooding. The birding may be down because of those factors but no ones knows, several groups here are keeping records and watching for any nesting activity.
We toured the big room of Kartchner Caverns Thursday, it is a beautiful cave. They allow no cameras so we had to buy our souvenir photos. It is expensive at $25 per person in that is for only half of the cave but it was worth it. It's discovery in 1974 and the discoverers keeping it a secret for 14 years so it would be saved in it's pristine state makes a good story. They carefully planned the best way to save it and share it with the public and that was to make it a state park.
It's a windy, chilly weekend but Monday looks nice again so we can get back to birding.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Birding in the Sierra Vista area

We've had a busy week birding, here are some of our finds.
Not a bird but a favorite photo of mine of the pond at San Pedro Riparian Area.

Yellow Warbler
Green tailed Towhee
Female Rufus Hummingbird taken at the hummingbird banding at San Pedro House, we got to listen to it's heart beat around 200 beats per min.
Gray Hawk a new bird we get to add to our bird list.
Happy Easter!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Last week in the Valley of the Sun

I can't believe it's our last week in the Valley of the Sun, but we aren't leaving AZ just yet.
We are going to do some birding in the SE part of AZ hoping to get photos of the Elegant Trogan.
Here are my favorite photos this week.
A marine blue butterfly on Mallow.
A Black throated Grey Warbler.

One of the wild mustangs in the Tonto National Forest.

A rare white muzzled laberdoddle!!