Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Little Bitty Birds

Painted Redstart
Today's post is fun and incredibly awesome.  There were many lifebirds here for me and during my stay at the Birder's B & B in Portal, AZ I was able to drink coffee, read my book and bird!!!  Many people ask if it's worth spending your money on birding places and my answer is "YES!"  

Black-throated Gray Warbler 
While my hikes were productive, much of my finds happened outside of my cabin door!  There's nothing better than to have birds surrounding you at all times because you never know who will drop in.  These were some special the Blue-throated Hummingbird.

Blue-throated Hummingbird
Granted the lighting here isn't great here but I was so close!!!  I wasn't expecting this hummingbird around but apparently 2 pairs nest all year round here.

Hammond's Flycatcher

Of course during the quiet of my reading, a lot of these little birds would fly right up to the running water.

Hermit Thrush
I discovered over my 3 days here that the warbler and small bird invasion happened during the hours of 8:00 AM til 9:00 AM.  Well this was the best viewing that I had all day of these birds and it's one of the few times they would come out into the open for me to capture on film.

But it was incredible.  The Warbler Invasion was awesome.  I've heard about this happening in other places but never had I witnessed it in person.  Not only did the warblers come in great numbers but so did lots of Sparrows, Bridled Titmouse, Painted Redstart(also considered a warbler), Flycatchers, and hummers!  It was like a small bird party.

I sat smiling in the cool temps of Portal drinking wonderful coffee and reading a great book.

Chipping Sparrow
My personal thrills for this day were the Black-throated Gray Warbler and Painted Redstarts!  I think I jumped out of my seat.

They had been reported at Sweetwater in Tucson but I wasn't having any luck finding them.  Plus I wasn't even sure I'd know one if I saw it.  Then in Portal, I saw the tiny flying skunk in the sky:)  And I knew I had found myself a new lifebird. 

And while all of this was going on up in the canopy of the trees, I was watching the sidelines. Lots of fun action happening from previous birds I had already seen.....but they're still cool to watch:)

Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Most interesting was the display that the Blue-throats were putting on around the property. 

And here we see some fancy flight work going on.   While I was having a conversation with one of the owners, I was taking pictures:)  Fascinating stuff here.

This Blue-throat looks like a young one as he was a smaller male compared to the rest.

The difficult part about the warbler invasion came from the huge variety of warblers that were out there.  And I know I missed a lot more.  But I did witness my last lifebird below.  Not only was my stay at the Bed and Breakfast relaxing; it was also rewarding.  It truly was a birding oasis and that's what I love about these places.  When you're not hiking, you can still relax in a rocking chair with a cup of coffee and watch birds.  More tomorrow....

Townsend's Warbler


  1. It's always nice how you can photographed these nice little birds.... my compliments Chris.

    Greetings, Joop

  2. Some wonderful birds there Chris and great photos :) Sounds like a bird paradise and well done on the lifers you saw :)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful and relaxing retreat- lovely photos!

  4. Great collection of birds and photos, Chris! Looks like a fantastic place to stay and for birding. Have a great weekend!

  5. An excellent series of shots Chris!

  6. Oglądałam post z góry na dół, później z dołu do góry i znowu na dół, żeby się napatrzeć na śliczne ptaki. Pozdrawiam.
    I watched the post from top to bottom, then from bottom to top and back down to a good look at beautiful birds. Yours.

  7. such cuties. i liked your 'flying skunk'. :)

  8. Love seeing all of your SMALL birds, Chris. We have lots of them around here. Right now though, we are over-run by Pine Siskins (which are eating us out of home and home)...

    Have a good weekend.

  9. What an amazing collection of bird photos. I enjoy looking them. The Ruby Crowned Kinglet looks so confused because he is spoilt for choice.

  10. I love every single one of these pictures. The ones of birds in flight are always my favs. Wings!
    Glad you were able to get away and enjoy the B&B.
    That whole coffee, rocking chair, porch thingy should never be underestimated.

  11. These bird pics are all so good! It's terrific getting to see these birds that don't hang out in our parts.

  12. It sounds as if you had a great time :)
    Your pictures are really wonderful - such beautiful wee birds. :))

  13. Dang! Nice photos Chris, really great work. It's hard to get good close-ups on these little flighty birds but this is excellent. Cheers!

  14. I like this kind of birding. You sure got some great shots and congrats on the lifers. What size lens were you using?

  15. Oh my it's a veritable treasure trove of wonderful images Chris, I cannot tell you how happy I would be with images like this. Nice work indeed, and you got in some relaxing time too, it's all good!

  16. These are wonderful photos! I especially love the two blue throats, and the Redstart. Well, they are all great. I know you had an awesome trip!

  17. I am always awed with your diligence in posting, but i thought, you have to do that or else a lot of photos need to be posted. That's a lot of birds in one trip! And I am awed also at your expertise in getting them flying or moving, when in my case, i can't even get the good shot of a fluttering butterfly! Grrrr! I am envious at your expertise, and your lenses!

  18. I loved staying at Portal and I wish we had more time to sit and relax and observe like you did. I love these "little pippy birds" - that's what I call them because of the sounds they make. I have a pair in the yard right now that I believe are traveling through, but I can't get a good picture of them, but when I do, you'll be the go-to guy. :)


Thanks for stopping by!