08 June 2009

Huachuca Mountains - Sunday

On Sunday, Tyler Loomis and I drove over to the Huachuca Mountains to try for the Berylline Hummingbird again. Tyler had yet to see this species, and I told him we could try for it. While he was watching for the hummer though (unsuccessfully), he managed to spy two Northern Goshawks circling overhead (that I missed) and I was shown three day roosting Whiskered Screech-Owls from just a few feet away. That night, we drove up Carr Canyon to camp, and to meet Andrew Spencer and Chris West. We didn't all coordinate at the same area until 3:30, and then slept in a little, waiting for the 50 mph wind gusts to die down. When they finally did, the birding was awesome. I got my first Buff-breasted Flycatchers and Greater Pewees of the year, as well as Yellow-eyed Junco, Olive Warbler, and Red-faced Warbler on the nest. There were Band-tailed Pigeons everywhere in these hills too. Soon though, Tyler, Chris and I made the executive dicision to hit Miller Canyon again while Andrew tried to sound record some flycatchers and warblers.

When we got to Miller Canyon, we lazed our way up the hill, and began the long wait for the hummingbird. White-eared Hummingbirds, Magnificents, Blue-throateds and half a dozen other species swarmed the oaks trying to get their sugar fix. Chris and I soon grew bored, and decided to let Tyler fend for himself with the Berylline. Not long after we left, he succeeded in his quest and rejoined us up canyon, and we searched up for more birds, specifically the recently reported Spotted Owls. Though we were unsuccessful in this venture, we did manage to see a Black Bear and three seperate Red-faced Warblers, coming as close as three feet, but only allowing me to obtain this one decent photo (after editing):

Soon after our fun with the warblers, we headed into Sierra Vista for lunch, and Tyler discovered that four Elegant Terns had materialized in the state overnight. We all looked at each other. We knew what we had to do next.

Lo and behold, two short hours later, my lifer Elegant Tern, my 550th world bird (you can see a second Elegant Tern in the background):

Here, we were forced to part our seperate ways, having successfully completed another whirlwind weekend of birding. I'm almost scared to see where I'll be in just a week or two...

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