We hope you have been enjoying the recap of our Southeast Arizona birding trip. For those that need to catch up, you might want to view our Southeast Arizona Birding Trip 1 and Southeast Arizona Birding Trip 2 before proceeding with Trip 3.
Day 16, 6TH of May
The Jeep is still in the shop getting a new starter so our friends Bob and Jodi graciously offered their truck so we could do what we like to do…yep….birding! We didn’t feel too bad about it because the weather was great and they wanted to ride their Harley anyway.
I find peace in my soul when we are out birding when it’s quiet with the exception of a slight breeze in the trees above or perhaps a small creek trickling by. Birds are all around me. To me, there is no greater peace. Yes….especially the “birds all around me” part.
Other birds I got to shoot at the Monastery were this Dusky-capped Flycatcher and the oh so beautiful Summer Tanager. After shooting at the Monastery, we jumped back in the truck, smiles on our faces, and headed on to Tombstone where we met up with our buds for lunch at Big Nose Kates. Just can’t beat that sarsaparilla and great music too! Back in the truck after lunch and off to Whitewater/Sulfur Springs. At this time of year, we found the Springs to be dry and not very much birdlife anywhere.
However! Upon our arrival, we did have a greeter, this Great Horned Owl and his lovely wife, Mrs. Great Horned Owl whom was sitting on the nest. Needless to say, we did not stay long…just long enough for a quick shot (thus the blurriness…well, I have to blame it on something!). We drove on through Bisbee and back to Benson, smiles on our faces from a great day of birding and a scenic tour to boot! I really enjoy seeing countryside not seen by my eyes before.
Day 17, 7TH
Usually after a full day of birding, with the exception of when we have a guide every day like when we were in San Blas, MX where we birded every day from 4:00 AM to 7:00 PM, we take a rest the next day, which we did this day. Well, a rest for us was cleaning up our friends’ truck from all that fine red dust found in the Arizona desert that infiltrates everything! And we got the Jeep back! So, we cleaned it up too since it was still dusty from our saunter over the Chiricahua mountains. Geesh, after that bill, seems like they could have cleaned it up for us! LOL
Day 18, 8TH
Today we are moving a little West to Green Valley RV Resort, taking the 10 to 83 to 19. This was a Mobile Home Park with an RV area in the center of it. We weren’t too thrilled with the sterility of the Park but, it was a great center location to…yep….go birding! This is also where we met up with our guide for the next several days, Laurens Halsey who proved himself to be a most worthy birding guide.
Day 19, 9TH of May
Birding location for today is Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains and part of the Coronado National Forest. This area is known as a premier birdwatching area. Yeah! We found this to be very true as we had numerous sightings. This is a beautiful area with lofty mountain peaks, forested slopes, seasonal streams, and an amazing variety of plants and wildlife. However, no new birds for us and lots of people.
Day 20, 10TH
This was our first day with our guide, Laurens Halsey. Our first birding excursion was to Mt. Lemmon. We left the flat sunny desert and climbed to over 9,000 feet, watching the clouds which were becoming quite ominous. A large group of cyclers were making the ascent as well, all in their cute little biker shorts and skimpy tight tops.
We make the crest, pull off on a side road and start hunting. Birds everywhere and…peace and quiet for the most part, with the exception of the other birder that we seemed to be bumping into throughout the day…maybe he knew Laurens and his abilities to find the birds! We were targeting the Olive Warbler today, a newbie for us. We walked the rough road for quite a while and then…there he was!! Chris and I both got several shots of him. We were smiling big time.
With a satisfied gate, I walked on up to the top of the mountain road where I spotted several Western Bluebirds. The side of the mountain had been logged off and they were a plenty, migrating over the mountain top. What??? You have GOT to be kidding me! I mean, we are at 9,000 feet and it is of course, VERY chilly but….OMG! Rain, sleet and SNOW!!! Remember, this is May! We continued to shoot for a while but it really started to come down so we hightailed it to Laurens Toyota FJ Cruiser and scampered in. We were all laughing and enjoying the sudden occurrence. I had to call Mom and tell her….hey Momma! We are at 9,000 feet on top of Mt. Lemmon in Arizona, it’s 40 degrees and it’s a blizzard out! We were all smiling.
Laurens took us down the mountain a little and sure enough…it was clear enough to hop out and start shooting again. I captured this little beauty, the Yellow-eyed Junco wading in the creek below. Notice he’s banded on his right leg.
Patience paid off and my next capture was this Hermit Thrush.
Weather started moving in on us again so we moved out on it, heading to a different area still.
That’s where I captured another Yellow-eyed Junco.
Day 21, 11TH
We moved to Huachuca City, leaving at a lazy 9:15. Actually, it takes us a good hour to pack up the Kittybago and get ready to go so I guess that isn’t too bad… We took 19 to 83 to 82, looked at several RV parks and settled on Mountain View RV Park. We found it to be a great location to explore the five mountain ranges nearby.
I’m inside unpacking and Chris is outside unpacking. He comes tearing into the Kittybago to get…yep…his trusty Canon EOS T2i and 100-400 lens. Within the first half hour of setting up camp, Chris came up with a new bird for us, this Scaled Quail. All this and we were only paying $22.50 pn with our Good Sam discount. We were smiling.
Day 22, 12TH
Ok. We are going to sleep in today..right? Nope….you see…kitty wanted me to get up as today is Mother’s Day! Actually, she wakes me up most every morning! Being the wonderful husband Chris is, he fixed me a Mother’s Day breakfast. Afterward, we went shopping to fill the empty cupboards and after exploring a little, we decided to go home and stayed in the rest of the day as it was very windy. Pretty normal at this time of year in this area. Of course, we had the feeders up and always
keep an eye on them. Sure enough…another new bird! We both got several shots of the Canyon Towhee. This nice shot was taken by my Honey Bunny.
We are well into our 45 day Arizona birding trip and having a great time. The weather was fantastic with the exception of the forceful winds, we had A/C and kitty was even having fun.
Stay tuned for Southeast Arizona Birding Trip 4!