While in Sierra Vista we visited the following places:
Patagonia Lake State Park
Summer Tanager migrating south
We think this is a Gray Flycatcher. It was pumping its tail downward as it flew to the ground to pick up insects. It also has the characteristic dark tip on the lower mandible. What confused us was the buffy nature of the wing bars.
Paton's Center for Hummingbirds
Young male Broad-billed Hummingbird
Adult male Broad-billed Hummingbird
We had a beautiful hike up Ramsey Canyon
The Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake is known to be a shy species that usually lies undetected in the leaf litter. We were lucky to see it basking in the sun.
Bob spied this Red-naped Sapsucker eating the Madrone berries. The Red-naped Sapsucker makes sap wells in trees for later sipping. They are reported to sometimes eat insects that are attracted to the sap. We had never seen one eating berries?
This Black-tailed Rattlesnake did not want to share the trail....we waited for a few minutes thinking it would move along...eventually Bob encouraged it by giving it a gentle nudge with a LONG stick:-)
Here is a Red-naped Sapsucker working on creating a sap well
This curious Rufous-capped Warbler poked its head out to see who was coming:-)
A Greater Pewee was taking a bath and later drying on this branch
The Slate-throated Redstart was hiding down in a berry bush along the stream
Then a pair of Rufous-capped Warblers came out to pose
As we worked our way west we detoured to Amado, south of Tucson to check out the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) as a potential place to volunteer next spring. It is a beautiful grassland refuge that was created to reintroduce the Masked Bobwhite. The refuge was full of life; they have received 22" of rain during the monsoon season this summer!
We visited BANWR's Arivaca Cienega a few times...
We think this was an immature Gray Flycatcher, if you look closely you can still see the gape and a dark tip on the lower mandible.
We saw this Barn Owl as we were driving into the Headquarters.
Immature Gray Hawk
We came upon two species of orioles traveling together at Arivaca Cienega. An immature Bullock's and male adult Hooded Orioles can be seen together in the photo below.
Immature male Bullock's Oriole
Adult male Hooded Oriole
Wandering Glider Dragonfly
Male Lesser Goldfinch
See the Ladder-backed Woodpecker below. The books indicate they typically forage on insects and anthropoids by gleaning, probing, prying and tapping; only occasionally excavating. The photo below captures the "occasional excavation" :-)
Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar
We also stopped at the Tumacacori National Historic Park on the Santa Cruz River in Tubac, Arizona. It is one of the last stretches of the river that flows year-round. The river continues north and is drained dry by agriculture and urban developments.
Female or immature Broad-billed Hummingbird
Male Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler
Adult male Black-throated Gray Warbler- we had a large number of these warblers migrating through along the river.
Palmer's Metalmark Butterfly
Female Hepatic Tanager
Florida Canyon in Green Valley, Arizona is located just north of Madera Canyon, which is a few miles north of Amado.
This Golden Eagle was hunting above the canyon as we started up:-)
Adult male Townsend's Warbler migrating through
Tooth-necked Longhorn Beetle
Immature Cedar Waxwing
While in Tucson we stopped to have some work down on our fifth-wheel and took a trip to the Desert Museum: it is a very special place!
This male Northern Cardinal greeted us
Cactus Wrens were around every corner
Thick-billed Parrots are now extinct in the U.S.. An attempt to re-introduce them into the Chiricahua Mountains was made but unfortunately was not successful.
A Rock Squirrel with cheeks full...
The Mexican Gray Wolf appeared to be about the same size as a small coyote
Its all about the smells:-)
Talk about smells.....Striped Skunks come with a caution- they can spray upto 20' away!
Harris's Antelope Squirrel
Northern Leopard Frog
Regal Horned Lizard
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbirds can have many appearances due to variations in age and sex
Female or immature Anna's because they both have the spot on the throat
Male immature Anna's
Immature or female Costa's Hummingbird
Male Costa's Hummingbird
The desert race of Big Horn Sheep
California has been experiencing a severe draught the last few years. The national wildlife refuges are feeling the pain. There was some water but just a fraction of what we had seen in previous years.
Merced National Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos, California
Long-billed Dowitchers come in by the hundreds to winter here
Sooty subspecies of Fox Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrows (like most sparrows) love to bathe
This appears to be the Alaskan subspecies of Song Sparrow, known as maxima
Female and male Gadwall
Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis coming into feed
Sandhill Cranes returning in the afternoon after their morning feed
A rare glance at a swimming Sora:-)
American Pipit in winter plumage
The Greater White-fronted Geese are starting to arrive for the winter. This goose seems to have an issue with this Sandhill Crane
This Greater Yellowlegs is on the hunt
The World is Full of Beauty & Wonder,
Turtle & Hawk