Monday, June 4, 2012

Carr Canyon and Miller Canyon

May 28th; second day of southeast Arizona! My feet already felt like they were gonna fall off! We got up at 5am and started our day; by 6am we were at the base of Carr Canyon starting the trail. The first think we saw was Bridled Titmouse. What a cute little bird.

Bridled Titmouse
The Bridled Titmice were all over! It was hard to get a decent photo of them since they hop all over hardly ever sitting still on the tree.

Then the Mexican Jay came into sight. We wedre so excited trying to get a picture of these jays; not knowing that we would see them all over for the rest of the day and the next day.

Mexican Jay
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
We made our way up the path some more and saw some more Bewick's Wrens, Mexican Jays, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

We decided we weren't seeing enough to continue on, so we turned back and headed for the car. Next to the rest rooms we heard some bird activity. We were looking around and saw our next new bird Acorn Woodpecker pair. The male perched about 10 feet from the ground on the tree branch and let me get pretty close too.

Acorn Woodpecker
After taking a bunch of pictures of that woodpecker we made our way to the car and then on up the road to the next trail. This next trail was a little tricky to walk on with all the rocks as we crossed the dry rock/river bed. But, once we got across that it was much easier. We then made it to the Carr Ruins which was neat and we saw some new birds there! Plumbeous Vireo and the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. Very nice birds!!

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

After we left that trail we headed for the top of Carr Canyon! Which if you ever go to Carr Canyon and want to drive to the top a word of advice is if you are afraid of heights you may want to rethink that. The road is right along the edge and at some points is a 50 to 100 ft drop. But, it is also very beautiful view! Once you get to the top it's a bit more rough of a road also.

Once we got to the top of the mountain; a good 30 minute 5 mile drive, we spotted some Pewees! Both lifers for us; Western Wood-Pewee and the Greater Pewee.
Greater Pewee

Western Wood-Pewee

We made our way to the end of the road where there was the Comfort Spring Trail. There was supposed to be a year round stream at the bottom. This trail dropped about 200 feet in elevation and on our way down to the bottom of the canyon we saw Acorn Woodpeckers, Mexican Jays, Bridled Titmice, and American Robins. Once down in the canyon we had thought we were at the end of the trail, so we rested for about 20 minutes and Simon thought we would go just a little bit further and the trail did go about 50 more ft and there it was; the stream, very little steam.

Black-headed Grosbeak
We then heard some people walking in the trees and then they came onto the trail and told us they had seen Red-faced Warbler and Painted Redstart; at that point my feet hurt so bad but also knew the Red-faced Warbler was an ABA code 2. So we went into the trees and waited about 30 minutes and finally saw the Red-faced Warbler. While waiting we spotted the Black-headed Grosbeak and either a Northern Flicker or a Gilded Flicker; I'm hoping its a Gilded!

Red-faced Warbler

After seeing the Red-faced Warbler we hoped to see the Painted Redstart later on on our trip. We headed up the hillside and very thirsty! I'm almost positive we got dehydrated at least a few times on this trip. Luckily we had water in the car!

After we got to the bottom of Carr Canyon we were starving, thirsty, and exhausted, so we needed to refuel with some food and a short nap.

Owl Sign!
We took a two hour nap and we were thinking of calling it a day, but really wanted to go to Beatty's and check out their hummingbird feeders at Miller Canyon. Then they told us that there was a Spotted Owl up in this pine tree and gave us directions to find it. It was around 5pm and we were down in the canyon, so the we didn't have the best light. Still we got within 15 ft of the owl and got some good pictures of it! Unlike the few owls we've seen this one didn't fly away!

Spotted Owl

Hepatic Tanager

After we saw the owl and got some pictures we thought we'd go up the trail a little bit more, we saw one new bird, a Hepatic Tanager. Then it was time to go to the hummingbird feeders with blisters on both my heels.

There was six or more hummingbird feeders and plenty of hummingbirds! The king of the feeders was defiantly the Magnificent Hummingbird. He would at times chase the other hummingbird from the feeders. It was so neat watching them all. We also managed to get a Blue-throated and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Magnificent Hummingbird

Blue-throated Hummingbird

We still have one more day of pictures to go through and about 5 unidentified birds so I am unsure of our total bird number. Thank you for your patience.

Happy Birding!!


  1. Wow, what a trip and what incredible birds. I am sorry for your sore feet, but thanks for sharing the excitement

  2. It was a pretty amazing trip!! We got a total of 34 new birds down there!! My feet finally feel normal again lol new hiking boots are in the future!!