|View of Mt. Ord from the highway on the way up as the sun starts to brighten the sky.|
Almost as soon as we got out of the car,we came into a mixed flock of birds, including Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Bushtits, White-breasted Nuthatches, and a Bewick's Wren. One of the first few birds I saw was an Olive Warbler! This is an uncommon species in Maricopa County because there is not much of its high elevation conifer habitat within the county borders, but it is even more rare this late in the year, after most of them have migrated south to Mexico.
|My lifer Olive Warbler was one of the first birds of the morning.|
|This Juniper Titmouse was a bit out of place in a Ponderosa Pine, but we saw it in an Alligator Juniper, too. This flock had a pair of titmice each of Juniper and Bridled flavors.|
|Although the sun was shining, it felt cold on the top of the mountain, especially with the wind blowing. We were surprised to see not just one, but two tarantulas on the prowl.|
|The view from the top of Mt. Ord. The Phoenix area is hard to see at this scale but is visible in the distance in the left part of this photo.|