Incinerator Ridge, June 17th
Incinerator ridge sits on a highpoint in the Catalinas, at the end of a short road off of the Hitchcock Highway, just south of the Palasades Ranger station, at about milepost 18. Many years ago there was an incinerator there, part of a local business to destroy documents, before shredding became common. You can park at the end of the road, and hike down the trail to the San Pedro Vista. Here are some links to the trail and environs, from Charles Miles and from Matt Marine.
Friday was a beautiful day for hiking, but, you guessed it, we were there for the birds. Arriving at 7 am, probably a bit late, we did spot some birds and get some photos, but overall it was a quiet morning.
We went searching for these critters about 3 weeks ago in Marshall Gulch, and discovered a nest in the ground, with male and female activity. Unfortunately, they hid from the camera lens. We returned this week to the same spot to find things very quiet - we hope their young are hatched and out and about. However on the ridge we did spot one Red-faced Warbler, again moving fast, and hiding in the pines, but I did get these two shots, one on the wing and a bit out of focus [for camera stats see end of the post]. Southern Arizona is in their summer breeding grounds.
Western Bluebirds are year-around inhabitants in Southern Arizona. We have seen them earlier this spring on Loma Linda Extension, close to the junction with Middle Sabino, up high not far from the highway.
Yes, I know they are common, but I like the images I captured, and hey, it's my website, right? We have a lots of them on the mountain. They seem to be everyday companions around the cabin and on walks. If I could just get them to do yard work!
Photo stats: The geeky stuff for fellow photographers
All images captured with Canon 7D Mark II with Sigma 150-600 Contemporary series. Lens and camera mounted on a Manfrotto tripod with a Wimberly WH-200 II gimbal head. Flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer, set about 2 to 3 stops below normal. Yellow Eyed Junco shot at 1/250th sec synching with the flash, f 7.1, ISO 400, at 600mm.
Sweetwater Wetlands, June 2016
Wednesday, June 15th, we returned to the wetlands for some June birding. Arriving at 8 am we missed the Wednesday Audubon birding walk, which during the summer starts at 6am! However, we did find shade, and birds. The one below by our best estimate is a Tropical Kingbird, but could also be a Western Kingbird, although the latter has a white rim around the tail, which we don't see here.
The Tropical Kingbird summers in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona spending the rest of the year in Central and South America. A summer resident, and apparently a regular at the wetlands.
Other birds this morning included redwing blackbirds - busy in flight, and perching on snags for photos, and a Cormorant, drying out on the pond:
Red-winged Blackbird, above, and below likely a Neotropic Cormorant. And oh yes, a Coot in the wings (pun intended), pretending he is a Cormorant.
Last, but not least, a male Yellow Warbler. Not the sharpest image. Light not great, and tough to get good focus with adjacent leaves on the trees:
Have a great day! Heading to the mountain soon.
Henry Johnson, photographer and author of this site. For more detail, see About