Visiting family from out-of-town is always fun. It's even better when you get to see birds while being with your family! My little cousin and my uncle joined my dad and sister for a half-day hike up to the ridge along Mt. Aeneas.
I love the high alpine atmosphere. Just something about it, it's just amazing. The birds there are amazing too. Just amazing.
Hermit Thrush!! First yearbird of the day! Varied and Swainson's Thrushes were also singing all over the mountain side.
After hiking up part of the trail, listening to MacGillivray's Warblers, Fox Sparrows and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, the trail levels of on a overlook of the moraine that the parking lot is in. As we stood and admired the view, a flock of 20 White-winged Crossbills flew over! That was cool!
...I do love that song. Pine Grosbeak, one of my favorite songs ever. WAIT!? Pine Grosbeak! Next yearbird! Unfortunately, like the Hermit Thrush, I did not see this bird. Listening to it sing is almost as good though!
The Microwave Relay Building on the ridge. Owned and operated by Bresnan Cable, which my dad works for!
Everything seems to look stronger up here. The trees and flowers have to fight to survive up that high.
On the way down, I heard some nestlings peeping like crazy, and saw a woodpecker form fly away down the mountain. The nest was in a large burned area so I camped out right in front of the nest to see if it belonged to a species of "special interest".
While waiting for the parents to return, I was visited by 3 Olive-sided Flycatchers! I absolutely LOVE those birds! My favorite Tyrannus Flycatcher yet! Then, not too long after they left, 2 BLACK SWIFTS flew on by!!! WHOA! yearbird! I really wish I could have gotten a better look at them though. They are such amazing birds...
AH HA! The mystery woodpeckers have returned! ... Not as "exciting" as I would have hoped but Hairy Woodpeckers are still fun!
Hiking back down the trail, looking forward to a nice cold Arizona Tea, I heard an odd chickadee call. GAHH! BOREAL CHICKADEE!! Only one problem...I didn't get to see it! I really wanted to see it! Oh well, I guess I have plenty of years to see more. That was the last yearbird of the day. Bringing my ABA yearlist to 189
There was many butterflies along the way, and I managed to get some shots of 3 species. All a very similar shade of orange...odd.
I hope to get out and do more birding soon!!!