Catalina State Park & Mt. Lemmon

On our last night in Arizona, my friend and I camped at Catalina State Park, just north of Tucson.  The park seemed to have a lot of bird promise so in the morning we drove up to the "Birding Trail." 

Most of the trail wasn't too birdy, but the short portion back to the parking lot turned up some goodies. 

Flycatcher... eh?

I had forgotten about most of the birds I saw here so going through photos has turned up surprises- though mostly of the much-help-needed variety.  This next one I thought maybe Gray Vireo, but it seems so pale I just don't know...

Canyon Towhee

 Lark Sparrow

I followed this next bird around while it tested out different branches from which to sing.  Wish I could remember the song. 

I had thought maybe a Yellow-green Vireo but this next shot shows a wingbar, so maybe a Bell's?

After our walk around the trail it was time to drop my friend at the airport and head up to Mount Lemmon.  I stopped at the Middle Bear picnic area to wander around in the trees for a bit.  Here I found my first Yellow-eyed Juncos!

A lot of bands on that little bird.  Some other nice birds around were a pair of Hepatic Tanagers, Pygmy Nuthatches, and several woodpeckers.

 Pygmy Nuthatch

Hairy Woodpecker

 Dusky-capped?  Eh?

 House Wren

From Middle Bear I headed further up the mountain to Rose Canyon Lake where I was greeted by a pair of Western Bluebirds at the park entrance. 

I saw my first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers:

I was most excited to see a Red-faced Warbler down by the lake:

I could have spent way more time on Mt. Lemmon if I didn't have to be in Las Cruces that night for my friends' band.  Good times!


  1. SWEET sightings!!! Ive heard Las Cruces is a great place to live so Im looking forward to your report. YOU are the bird whisperer girl!!!

  2. You hit all the hotspots, didn't you? The first flycatcher could be an Ash-throated or a Brown-crested. The gray vireo is a juvenile Verdin, they've left me pondering on more than one occasion! You were right about the Bell's Vireo. The last flycatcher is probably a Dusky-capped. Don't you love the Red-faced Warblers? They rock! I just saw some up there this morning.

    1. I know, I felt like I was on a whirlwind tour of SE Arizona. You got some awesome Red-faced Warbler photos- mine were more for proof than anything. They are a seriously rad bird.

  3. Flycatcher Jen:

    I don't know what that first Myiarchus is....either an Ash-throated or Brown-crested. Its hella far. Get a bigger lens, jeez.

    Your first mystery bird is a Lucy's Warbler; the second a Bell's Vireo. Yellow-greens do not really occur in Arizona and are huge yellowish monsters.

    You are right about the Dusky-capped!

    Lemmon is a great place for Red-faced Warblers, some of my best views of them were from there. Sick.

  4. Jen, great birds and sightings. I love the red-faced Warbler, it is gorgeous. How long was your trip, it sounds like you were able to do a lot of birding?


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