In late March I traveled to Sierra Vista, stayed at Battiste’s Bed and Breakfast, and primarily shot at the photo blind Tony Battiste has set up in his yard. I also went to the San Pedro River and shot the newly arrived Vermillion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, and Cassin’s Kingbirds. I shot over 20 species and was surprised to get so many good shots of Lucy’s Warblers at Tony’s small pond. Their natural habitat is Mesquite Bosques (forests) and even with calls it’s very difficult to get them into an area not surrounded with sticks. To add to Tony’s set up I brought some ocotillo limbs cut from my yard, and added some local Penstomen flowers to add some color to the backgrounds. A complete list of birds I saw/shot at Tony’s included Lucy’s Warbler, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Lesser Goldfinch, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Acorn Woodpecker, Ladder Backed Woodpecker, Chipping sparrow, Lark Sparrow, White Crowned Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, English House Sparrow, Cactus Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Marsh Wren, Canyon Towhee, Curve billed Thrasher, Verdin, Pine Siskin, Bridled Titmouse, Pyrrhuloxia, Spotted Towhee, Scott’s Oriole, broad billed, rufous, and black chinned hummingbirds, and Mourning, Inca and White winged doves. Tony and I also traveled to Florida Canyon in the Santa Rita’s but we did not see the Rufous Capped Warblers (a Mexican warbler) that has been seen by so many, the 40 mph gusts did not help our situation. I also traveled to Huachuca Canyon on Fort Huachuca and did see an elegant trogan but the few pictures I got were directly beneath him and not worth posting. The sycamore trees they prefer had not yet leafed out and I don’t think he felt comfortable perching there yet. Sierra Vista is an extremely popular birding area, thus provides photographers with numerous species opportunities as well. To view a few photos I took just click here. I will keep visiting and keep learning so please return to the blog for updates.
IF YOU GO: Many of the above species are migratory and just moving through the habitat that the area provides and you will have to time your visit for them. I italicized birds above that will only be there for a limited period. Some of the species should be most of the year (bold) and some will be there during their nesting season before they return south for the winter (underlined). However, I always start a new class at ASU by explaining Rule 1 to my students, that is “There is an exception to every Rule, including Rule 1”. In other words you can’t guarantee anything with wildlife nor be shocked by seeing something you didn’t expect to see.