Friday, May 11, 2012

Miller Canyon & San Pedro House.

After drooling over hummingbirds, and being drooled upon by the Beatty's hound dogs, we headed up the Miller Canyon trail to see what we could see.  Evidence of last summer's forest fires is readily apparent, and it's amazing just how lucky the Beattys were. 


We saw a good number of birds, more warblers than any other place we visited.  Mostly just Black-throated Gray and Orange-crowned, but a couple of Hermits too:


There were a lot of flycatchers that I will now miserably fail at identifying.  Just for you.

Pacific-slope?  Eh?

 Ummmmm....? 

And then there's this bird, which is really bugging me:


I was thinking some kind of vireo but I don't know...  

After our hike we headed north to the San Pedro House, part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.  The dogs were pretty hot and we were hungry so we set up some snacks and water at a shaded picnic table near some feeders.  The feeders were so great we ended up moving around to different tables to see different ones.

Curve-billed Thrasher

 Pyrrhuloxia and an inconvenient White-crowned Sparrow

 Lazuli Bunting

 Common Ground-Dove


 Abert's Towhee

 The best photo of a Green-tailed Towhee EVER.

Once we had cooled off a bit we decided to check out one of the trails down to the river.  The area was shaded enough that it wasn't TOO brutal, but still pretty hot.  The birds, as always, made up for it...

 Vermilion Flycatchers



Of course there was a mystery (mysterious?) flycatcher...

Umm...hmm... 

My favorite bird along the San Pedro was this Gray Hawk:


Yeah!  I can't believe we almost didn't stop at this spot.  Good times!

10 comments:

  1. Wow, more great birds. I have to say again what a great place for birding. I have really been enjoying your trip and outings. I am sure you are racking up lifers on this trip. Or did you see them already? Both the Towhee's and the Lazuli Bunting are on my want to see list. But, for now I am enjoying your photos.

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    1. Nope, I hadn't seen many of these birds yet- still wading through photos so not sure how many lifers yet, but quite a few!

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  2. Hey Jen, another great installment!

    Usually I don't try at online photo IDs since my confidence is fragile enough already, but I'm stuck at an airport right now so I'll fire away.

    I think that second Flycatcher, the 'ummmm' is a Cordilleran Flycatcher. They look near identical to the Pacific Slope, but are the more common species at higher elevations.

    That funky gray bird with the red eye pictured underneath that second Flycatcher is, I think, a female Brown-Headed Cowbird. Hiding in the sticks, staying out of focus...she's pulling a 'Sasquatch' on ya.

    That Grey Hawk is sweet, need to see one of those! I think the flycatcher right above the hawk may be a juvenile Say's Phoebe, or at least juvenile Say's Phoebes look very similar to that bird.

    Best of luck with whatever comes next!

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  3. Wow, what a day! That Gray Hawk is quite impressive, even is he was trying to hide behind the narrow branch. The Lazuli Bunting is a beauty, as is the mystery flycatcher! Glad your trip is going so well!

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  4. The vermilion flycatchers are just spectacular! Your header is awesome.

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  5. Your recent bird id questions have become kind of entertaining. I'm going to start calling you Flycatcher Jen.

    Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatchers have a distinct tear-dropped shape eye ring and relatively short primary projection. They are also very yellow. I think both of your top flycatchers are Hammond's.

    Your mystery vireo looks like a Western Kingbird.

    The last flycatcher has no eyering at all, which simplifies things. It's short primary projection and wing bars means its not a pewee, so I would call it a Willow.

    Seriously though, Empids are fucked. You basically have to memorize all of their field marks before you see them and hope they call or sing.

    I was wondering if you got to see Gray Hawks! Aren't they facemelters?!

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    1. Well, I've been called worse things I suppose. Freakin flycatchers. Thank you for being entertained enough to help me out with these jerks. I thought I had a grip on Willows after last summer, but obviously all that went down the toilet over the winter. I suppose I need to study. Ugh.

      Yes, Gray Hawk was facemelting. He was just so clean and tidy looking.

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  6. LOL those flycatchers are HARD to ID...here we have our regulars so I just go by sound...
    WOW on the GrayHawk,,,and the Vermillions are awesome.
    Great stuff.

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  7. Nice birding, Jen!

    Steve's take on the Empids looks pretty good to me. And like Laurence, I think that your mystery "vireo" is a female cowbird. The light gray color makes me think Brown-headed, but if that eye is really as red as the photo suggests, I have to go with Bronzed. Its gestalt is all cowbird.

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