Tag Archives: Oro Valley

~Sunset over the Catalina Mountains

~December 22, 2018, Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

A lovely walk, at sunset, on the Romero Ruin Loop Trail.

Howard at the beginning of the Romero Ruin Trail in Catalina State Park (6:15pm)
The mountains are gorgeous with the beginning of the evening sunlight shining on them. (6:16pm)
Shadows add to the drama taking place.
(6:20pm) Sunlight kissing the Saguaro Cacti.
(6:22pm) The evening sunlight turns these mountains into a fiery, gorgeous sight.
(6:30pm) Looking west.
(6:31pm)  A different view
(6:32pm)
(6:33pm)
(6:34pm)
(6:37pm)
(6:48pm)

The Romero Ruin Trail Loop is one of my very favorite trails. The views, from atop this hill of the Catalina Mountains are spectacular, the foliage diverse, and the birding rewarding. At sunset, the scene is peaceful and breathtaking.

Earlier in the day, on the same trail:

Curved-billed Thrasher

A list of all the other birds I observed while visiting Catalina State Park:

Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk(new), Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gilded Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gila Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Common Raven, Western Scrub-Jay, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Pyrrhuloxia, House Finch, Cassin’s Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

I wish I would have seen more!

 

~The Moon Sits Atop a Saguaro

December 20, 2018, Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

A stroll at dusk back a nature trail in Catalina State Park to watch the moon rise over the Catalina Mountains was a lovely way to spend the evening.

The Moon sits atop a cactus.

The evening light brings out the gorgeous colors of the Catalinas.
The Moon rises higher.

It was a lovely walk, watching the glow of the setting sun play its magic over the mountains.

On Saturday, December 22nd, the moon will be full and it is also the winter solstice. Winter is here.

~Ducks

December 19, 2018, Oro Valley, AZ

The featured photo of the Pied-billed Grebe and the female Green-winged Teal were taken at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, AZ during the week.

Female Green-winged Teal

For more information on the Sweetwater Wetlands, you can visit their website: Sweetwater Wetlands

The photos below were taken today at Aqua Caliente Park in Tuscon, AZ. It is a lovely place to enjoy the day.

Things to do include, learning about the history of the area and what it is currently being used for, walking the trails looking for birds or just sitting on one of the park benches relaxing.

For more information on the Aqua Caliente Park, you can visit their website, http://tucsonaudubon.org/about-us/our-locations/745-2/

 

American Wigeon pair. The male is stretching his wing.
American Wigeons. I don’t know what they were eating, but they sure were clustered around each other trying to feed.

I loved the reed reflections on the pond and where the duck was snoozing; however, the buoy in the background ruined the photo so I included some with it cropped out.

Ring-necked
Ring-necked Pair
He was watching me with one eye open and then he decided he better check me out more closely.
It looks like he got really mad at me.

 

~Birding in Arizona – a few final photos from Catalina State Park

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ, November, 2107

_MG_1770
As the sun sets on the Catalina Mountains.

~

_MG_2079
Yellow-rumped Warbler

I don’t think this Warbler liked the suet, but it was fun watching it try to land on the feeder.

~

_MG_2082

Recently I began paying more attention to the House Finch, which is usually ignored. They can be very expressive and a challenge to photograph.

I watched this male land on this stump, fly off, and then return.  I focused my camera on the stump, and with patience managed to capture these photos. It sure pays to watch a birds behavior when trying to photograph them and is very educational. What a handsome little finch and a cute pose.

~

Morning Dove
The sweet Morning Dove….

This Morning Dove sat on this branch for the longest time. It seemed perfectly fine, resting in the sunshine. There must have been about fifty morning Doves around our RV site, usually in the early morning and late evening;  they appeared to be a little thin, perhaps they just migrated south.

~

_MG_1768
We sure did enjoy this backyard for two weeks. (Late evening)

~

~Beautiful Arizona, we are already looking forward to next year!~

“The West is the Best”

 

~Birding in Arizona – more Hummers

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017

Don’t you just love these tiny birds?

_MG_2012

~

_MG_1987

~

_MG_1863

~

_MG_1850

~

_MG_1986

~

_MG_2024

~

_MG_1816
The only female I saw.

~

_MG_1779

~

_MG_2066

I believe these are Anna’s Hummingbirds. Without the light highlighting the colors of the head and throat it is hard to tell. The Costa’s is smaller, short-tailed and has more white on the chest. I spent quite a bit of time trying to correctly ID these hummers. If anyone has any thoughts on ID, please let me know.

It was sure fun observing and trying to capture them with my camera. The bees sure did give them grief.

~Happy Birding~

 

~Birding in Arizona – a hummingbird with a red bill

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017

 

_MG_1897
Broad-billed Hummingbird

~

The very first day, when camping, at Catalina State Park, I saw this Hummingbird. What caught my attention was a flash of red on the bill. Oh my, a red bill! I knew I had to purchase a hummingbird feeder.

While on a walk one morning, I saw a lady walking with binoculars around her neck. I stopped and asked her if she had seen the Broad-billed. She was excited to hear that I might have seen it,  but stated that she hadn’t. She told me her husband went on the ranger guided birding walk that morning and they hadn’t mentioned seeing it. She felt sure she would have heard if it had been spotted. She was a sweet, elderly lady who would stop and share birding information with us when she saw us walking. I will remember her fondly.

I noticed an RV with bird feeders hanging from the trees at their site. I stopped and asked if they had seen a hummingbird with a red bill. “Yes, she exclaimed, I have noticed it at the feeders.”

Okay, at least I had a confirmation. Turns out that, through their blog, I knew this couple.  I had read their blog many times, but had never met them. What fun! We enjoyed a couple of happy hours together and hope to see them again down the road.

_MG_1831

~

I spent one week trying to capture this hummer with my camera. It was very shy, highly protective of the hummingbird feeder, and would sit hidden in the mesquite tree. After the first week, I didn’t see it anymore; I don’t know if it continued on its migration path or was chased off by other hummers.

I was thrilled to have this gorgeous hummingbird visit my hummingbird feeder.

_MG_1950

Back in 2009, I saw this Hummer for the first time while visiting the  Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

~Happy Birding~

 

~Catalina State Park

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017

Can’t believe we arrived at Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ two weeks ago. Where did the time go? Instead of our mostly nature based activities, our time here has been filled with visiting friends.

_MG_1771

I did manage a little birding at our site, but didn’t venture off anywhere to bird watch. I did get to see the beautiful Broad-billed Hummingbird, which was a highlight. More on birding and our visit here with photos in later posts.

We truly had a great time here in the Oro Valley, Catalina and Tuscon area. Our last visit was five years ago. hard to believe. I walked and rode my bike; Howard ran and set up his radio antenna to chat with friends on the air several times a week.

~~I know a few of you that read my blog will be visiting this area in the near future. I wanted to share with you a few things Howard and I enjoyed, especially the music.

~Music:

If you like going to concerts, check out the GasLight Music Hall in Oro Valley. It is located at 13005 N Oracle Road, Oro Valley. We attended a concert by Billy Rock and the Bad News Blues Band with friends. The singer and the band were FANTASTIC! Cost was $28.00 a couple, which was well worth the price to see these talented musicians, whom have performed throughout the US and Europe.

~Restaurants:

We ate at a few of our favorite places while staying at Catalina State Park and experienced a few new places. In Catalina we like Sunny Side Up Cafe  for breakfast and Clair’s Cafe and Gallery for lunch. These eateries are where the locals hang out. Great food.

We went to The Parish in Oro Valley, which is a quirky, cajun restaurant with a full bar and beer on tap. Their Sunday brunch is very good; I had Shrimp and Grits!

If you like going to Gastropubs try Noble Hops. They have patio seating with a bar and gorgeous views of the Catalina Mountains; check out their live music offerings.

For something truly different try zPizza, with wine and beer on tap that you pour yourself. The brew and pizza were excellent.

For Chinese food try the Dragon Village and Pei Wei! For Mexican try La Hacienda Family Mexican, all located in Oro Valley.

~Grocery Stores:

I just love going to grocery stores when visiting an area. We went to the usual – Fry’s and Safeway, which were okay. However, the most gorgeous grocery store around here, IMO, is Bashas’ in Catalina. This grocery was simply gorgeous, recently remodeled and very busy.

~Touring:

Finally, Howard and I went to visit Biosphere 2, which was very interesting, and worth the drive and time. I hope to share photos at a later time.

~Friends- old and new:

We visited with old friends and new friends while here. We truly enjoyed seeing everyone! Special friends, special times, wonderful memories.

~In the morning:

We leave Arizona, heading into New Mexico for a one or two night stay at Rock Hound State Park, then on to South Llano River State Park in Texas. After South Llano, we will spend a few days, visiting with friends, while staying at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin.

~Life is Good, Enjoy Everyday~