Miller Canyon 12 July 2009

Jerry Bock, Morgan Jackson and I spent a splendid half day in Miller Canyon today. While we missed the Spotted Owls that have been so regular there, we enjoyed a number of other species of flora and fauna above and inside Beatty's Guest Ranch.

Most popular amongst birders are the feeders located at the Beatty's "Controlled Access Site." At these feeders, we were treated to multiple male White-eared Hummingbirds:

Also, of course, the highly sought-after Berylline Hummingbird:

This appeared to be the female, given that the green coloration in the throat was not completely solid. She didn't stay still for very long, and only showed up twice in the hour that we waited: once to gather nesting material from a ball of dog fur, and once to feed.

But our favorite was this female Broad-billed Hummingbird doing yoga poses in a bush to the left of the feeders. The best theory we came up with was that she was turning herself towards the sun in different ways to expose feather mites to the powerful UV light from the sun...but your guess is as good as ours:

Not to overlooked were some neat finds in the butterfly department. This Orange-edged Roadside-skipper (Amblyscirtes phylace) caught my eye. The trailing edges of the wings are very worn, but a hint of orange is noticeable. In other photos, the forewings looked fairly rounded (rather than pointed, as in Orange-headed Roadside-skipper):

North of the border, they are only found in the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona!

Also, a neat little Cassus Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes cassus):

Finally, not to be outdone, there were some curious plants as well. The neatest was an orchid that Jerry identified as "Huachuca Mountain Adder's Mouth" (Malaxis corymbosa). Only a very few plants were just starting to bloom:

Happy birding/butterflying/botanizing,
John Yerger
Adventure Birding Co.

1 comment:

lew said...

Yo Yerger!

Found some horchata in the Green Star market here this evening. Just had a tall, icy cool glass of it with Stoner a bit ago... ahhhh, brought back some good memories of gurgling wrens and hot canyons. And also of cheap enchiladas. Mmmm! Hope everything is rockin for you out there - I guess it's probably primo guiding season bout now?

All the best,