Walt picked me up at my hotel in Queen Creek, and we headed south towards Mt. Lemmon. There were Eurasian Collared-Doves and White-winged Doves, and it seemed like Mourning Doves were everywhere.
As we were driving near Coolidge, we spotted a large flock of birds. They were White-faced Ibises, and my first life bird species of the trip.
We saw several Red-tailed Hawks that were quite varied in appearance.
We drove through Tucson, and made our way to Mt. Lemmon. Mt. Lemmon is located in the Santa Catalina Range, and rises from the desert floor to its summit elevation of 9,159 feet. The 27 mile long paved road gave us some great views and multiple birding stops. It was neat to see saguaro cacti starting to bloom at the lower elevations.
As we drove up the mountain, avian species changed along with the elevation.
Male Black-headed Grosbeak
Female Black-headed Grosbeak
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's subspecies); note red streaks on throat
We got off the main road near the 7,000 foot elevation, and birded in Rose Canyon. I thought that I might had gotten a new wren species as its song was different to me, but it was a House Wren.
There was lots of avian activity here, and I got my first ever Virginia's Warbler, although I didn't know it then. It wasn't until I started processing my photos back home in Virginia that I realized what I had photographed.
There was a brushy area where I saw some warblers flying around. The first ones I saw were Wilson's Warblers.
And then I got my first two Red-faced Warblers, and a female, Black-throated Gray Warbler.
Black-throated Gray Warbler
I also saw one or two Warbling Vireos.
We continued birding at higher elevations.
Steller's Jay (Interior West subspecies)
After a great birding day, we headed back down Mt. Lemmon. As we neared the base, a Zone-tailed Hawk put on a show for us.
Click here to continue the trip to Madera and Florida Canyons; May 7