I'm an avid birder and nature photographer wishing to share some of my sightings & images taken while out in the "wilds" of Cape Ann and surrounding New England countryside. More images can be found on my web site at New England Birds Plus Enjoy, Phil Brown

"Click" on any image below for a larger version....

Comments & Question - nebirdsplus@gmail.com

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mt. Lemmon - Tucson, AZ - Sept 15, 2011

A trip up the 27.5 mile long road that leads to the 9550' summit of Mt. Lemmon was an interesting and in lots of spots an exhilarating ride. It is a wide & well maintained road with guard rails at all of the appropriate spots but some of the inclines and drop offs will get your heart pumping unless you encounter something like this on a regular basis..... I certainly don't!

The view from one of the many pull offs.

and another looking at Tucson in the distance.

Some of the birds encountered at the summit included Hermit Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Bridled Titmouse, Common Raven and Townsend's Warbler as seen below.

Pygmy Nuthatch

Mountain Chickadee

and my favorite Yellow-eyed Juncos seen in the next two images.

A brief video of a Junco feeding

There were feeders along the road on the ride down that attracted both Rufous Hummingbirds

and Magnificent Hummingbirds as seen in the next two shots.

All in all a ride I won't soon forget and one I hope to repeat in the years to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Arizona - September 11 - 18, 2011

A week of birding in south east Arizona turned up 143 species. Out at sunrise and back at dusk each day while covering just under 1200 miles over the 8 days. Lots of varied habitat and beautiful scenery can be found in the mountains and canyons around Sierra Vista, I always enjoy my visits and hate to leave.

Taken outside of Sonoita, near Elgin along Rte 82

Something you don't see here in the east.... Open range!

Mary Jo Ballator's "Ash Canyon Bed & Breakfast" is a great place to see loads of Hummingbirds and others like this Acorn Woodpecker that was coming to suet in her backyard.

She has Lucifer Hummingbirds coming to her feeders through late September.

along with Rufous (seen below), Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Broad-billed & Magnificent Hummingbirds and several others as regular visitors to her yard.

Mexican Jays frequent her feeders as well.

The Paton's Hummingbird Haven in Patagonia hosts several Violet-crowned Hummingbirds as well as most of those listed above.

A Cooper's Hawk made a run at the feeders while I was there and hung around for several minutes contemplating its next move.

A Ladder-backed Woodpecker coming to the suet and posing in a nearby perch was a treat to see.

I'll continue in another post with stops at other locations around Sierra Vista.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dickcissel Continues - Sept. 08, 2011

The female Dickcissel continues at the feeders allowing for photos & a bit of video in the continuing rain.

A closer look at the rather large bill of this wayward seed eater.

A brief video of it on several different perches around the yard and at the feeder.

Time spent at the platform feeder is not without its hazards as you can see here with a Mourning Dove giving the Dickcissel a sharp bite as it successfully muscles in.

This is nothing out of the ordinary with birds continually jostling for their place at the feeder. The Dickcissel was soon back at the feeder after spending a bit of time watching from nearby.

Before joining back in....

and nearly getting lost in the sea of House Sparrows.

Another visitor, a hatch year Northern Cardinal was molting fairly heavily around its head. That's its ear hole just below its eye, something we rarely see.

With a closer look below. For those interested, an image showing a replica of a Cardinals skull created by Bone Clones can be seen at: http://www.boneclones.com/images/bc-167-lg.jpg

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dickcissel - Sept, 06, 2011 - Essex, MA

A female Dickcissel visited the feeders during this mornings showers. I had another visit back on August 17. Hopefully the visits become a bit more frequent.

A brief video of the Dickcissel preening. The Sora calling in the middle of the video is just my phone letting me know I have a voice mail...:)

Another shot of the before it was gone for the remainder of the day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Storm Tossed Birds - Hurricane Irene - A Week Later

The phone was abuzz on Sunday the 4th, several great birds put in an appearance in the Newburyport area and my good friend Steve Grinley of Bird Watcher's Supply & Gift (aka "Bird Central") kindly kept me in the loop as to what was being seen. The 1st of the day was a young White Ibis found by Christopher Ciccone on Plum Island and later relocated by Steve & Margo along the Plum Island Causeway. Though feeding at quite a distance the youngster was unmistakably a White Ibis, seen below feeding with a Great Egret.

While watching the Ibis Doug Chickering called from Salisbury Beach State Reservation where he had come across an American Avocet feeding in the marsh. A quick ride to the Reservation found the Avocet still there!

I headed back to Newburyport to check the harbor at low tide only to be called again by Steve. A Caspian Tern had come in to roost for a bit back at Salisbury Beach. Back in the car for the drive north and voila there was the Tern.

Easily picked out below with it's bright red bill.

Also roosting near the Tern was an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. A bit distant but the yellow legs can be clearly seen.

and a shot as it flew in to roost on the rocks.

Earlier in the morning I had stopped at Sandy Point for a brief visit. This Great Egret landed quite close by.

and yet another Common Tern coming in for a landing. All in all a fabulous day of birding!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Terns to Toads With a Few Hummers For Good Measure

A trip to Sandy Point State Reservation on August 29th found loads of  Terns
roosting at high tide. The young Forster's Tern below was nice to see.

But the Black Tern just off center in the image below was especially nice to come across.

Young Sanderling were feeding quite close at times. 

Closer to home... well... in the yard at home to be a bit more precise... the young Hummingbirds have taken over the yard. At least 5 youngsters chased each other around the yard with this one checking out the Butterfly Bush before joining back in the chase.

Another youngster checking me out from within the Trumpet Creeper

A Grasshopper managed to stumble into this Spiders web just off of the deck. That's quite a prize for a spider so small!

Another visitor to the yard today was this one eyed Toad.

But I must say.. the one eye it does have is quite spectacular!