Southeast Arizona birding trip 1

 

Being the adventurous one, I decided we should start seeing the USA in our Chevrolet….Kittybago that is. Most of our travels have been foreign and I know the USA offers a lot to see so….we started our first birding tour of the USA by heading to Arizona, Southeast Arizona to be exact.

I had read so much about the great birding in Southeaster Arizona and we were very excited to get there and begin finding new birds.  Of course, being in a warm climate had something to do with it too.

It was hard to come back from Baja at the end of March as April, May and June are such great months to be there but, in order to satisfy my traveling shoes, we did. However, Chris did not leave easily.  In rainy beautiful Oregon for only a few weeks, we were ready to hit the road to warmer weather…and….the birds of Southeastern Arizona.

I will write a series of our travels beginning with:

Day 1, April 21, 2013, Sunday

We left our home in Oregon around 12:30PM. You know…you always have something else to do when you are packing up your RV. Don’t want to forget anything…like Chica! After all, it is her RV!  So, we got kind of a late start but we knew we were not going to go all that far the first day.

We drove 330 miles to Rancheria RV Park. It’s a nice little park on Hwy 89 in the midst of the Lassen National Forest, near Burney Falls. It has a pond that is stocked with fish and there are some entertaining ducks. If you are going to spend time in the area, there is lots to do.  We normally just overnight on our way to somewhere else. We arrived about 8:00PM and went to sleep to the sounds of croaking frogs and woke up to a Hairy Woodpecker trying his best to get his breakfast out of a nearby tree.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

 

Day 2, 22nd, Monday

We got on the road by 8:45AM. First stop…IGA in Susanville for the best donuts ever. We found this little secret several years ago. They had a sign up that said exactly that…best donuts ever…and…they were right! We stop going and coming for the treats whenever we go through Susanville.

We arrived at Whiskey Flats RV Park outside of Hawthorne, NV around 5:00PM, driving 270 miles that day. Great little RV Park. Very little ambiance but..we weren’t looking for ambiance, we were looking for a quiet level space and good internet, which they have. And…at only $25 pn.

We are told and I have read that there are quite a few Big Horn Sheep in the area. Next time through there, we will stay again at WFRV Park and find some! That’s what the Jeep’s for, right?  But….not this trip.  Have to get to the birds!

Day 3, 23rd, Tuesday

We left around 8:45, taking Hwy 395 to 95. We weren’t thrilled about going through Las Vegas as that is a “been there, done that” for us so, we decided to go a different way before we put the peddle to the meddle (average 50 mph) and cut over to Pahrump, NV which turned out to be a very nice town.

However, it took us a bit longer to get there as I missed the exit. Here we are, out in the middle of no where and Chris tries to turn a u-e in the middle of Hwy 137. This is after several “I don’t think it’s big enough”’s. Well…guess what….it wasn’t big enough! Sheesh! Here we are blocking both lanes of a highway with the front of the Kbago in the bushes.

While I’m directing traffic around the end of the Jeep (just enough room for passing cars), Chris is hurriedly getting the Jeep unhooked from the Kbago. After a few sweat drops, he backed it up and out of the way.  I jump in the driver’s side of the Kbago and back her up and out of the bushes. Whew!  That was a scary moment.

We reconnected our Kbago and Jeep and off we went to find Pahrump!  I didn’t miss the turn this time.  We found the best RV park on the trip.  It has two names so…I’ll just stick with one. Lakeside Casino and RV Resort.  We pulled in about 5:00PM, having traveled 330 miles that day.

They have a large pond with lots of wildlife around. Sound like our kind of place? We went in to register and decided to stay two nights instead of one as we really liked the looks of things.

Day 4, 24th, Wednesday

After I researched all the possible adventures to do while in this 5* resort, we headed out to China Ranch Date Farm to bird and get fresh dates. There weren’t many birds but we did not get there until high noon. The horsefly bite I got wasn’t great either but the dates….oh the dates! They were fantastic and there were several varieties to chose from.  Of course, we had to try a couple of their date shakes too.  Very good but….very filling indeed.

After getting back from our adventure to the date farm, we decided to stay 3 more nights at our new found favorite place.  And….we had more adventures to take.  The more I read, the more excited we became.

Day 5, 25th, Thursday

We moved to a different space today as we had overstayed our time in the first space that had been reserved by someone else who was coming in this day.  We liked our first space 10 better than our second space 57.  We did Kittybago chores and laundry and I had to be on the phone with DISH Network as we were having issues with our $350 Tailgater (portable dish). The day was shot…but unfortunately, no birds were.

Day 6, 26th, Friday

Off first thing in the morning to Ash Meadows NWR. Great place in the middle of the desert.  I think I might catch myself saying this a lot on this trip.

IMG_0219Crystal springs is exactly that, crystal clear.  IMG_0221

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We shot new birds, the Lucy’s Warbler

Lucy's Warbler.c.1

Lucy’s Warbler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the Bell’s Vireo.   I had to steal these photos from Chris as we have had not had time to combine, edit and identify all yet.

Bell's Vireo

Bell’s Vireo

They were also restoring the Devils Hole pupfish in the springs, which is 90 degrees F.  This was a great adventure day!

Day 7, 27th, Saturday

Day of rest and gambling…not too much of the latter.  There’s a lot of dust in the air from the high winds and my allergies are coming alive.

Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure as we have lots more to share!

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5 Responses to Southeast Arizona birding trip 1

  1. mom says:

    Same song–second verse———-anyway, —————GREAT STORIES !!!!!

  2. mom says:

    As usual you make me feel like I should have been with you. Better get a slide out extra beddroom————just kidding ———-lol

  3. LottaTidbits says:

    Hey Burgins! Sorry I was so long in addressing your comment! We had a wonderful trip on our Arizona birding adventure. We shot thousands and ended up keeping over 300 photos of birds only. Maybe you can talk Oly into a personal show!

  4. LottaTidbits says:

    Thanks hb! We are having a fantastic time. Sorry that it ends soon. Stay tuned!

  5. hburgin says:

    Well, it is always those scary u-e’s that make the trip memorable. I love the southwest and it sounds like you will have a fabulous trip…birds or not (did I just say that?!?!?!). Looking forward to more details and pictures. Have a great trip.
    Hugs from the Burgins

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