Wednesday, June 6, 2012

~Last Day of SE AZ~

Our last day in southeast Arizona brought us about an hour south of Tucson, in the Madera Canyon. It was much hotter there than it the other two days. We had half a jug of water and we headed to Bog Springs Trail. the trail was uphill most of the way and we stopped often so we could refuel with water and me with my asthma. After a few minutes we would start up the path again.  

This couple passed us as we were taking one of many breaks; they had two wiener dogs with them and one was trying so hard to sit down in the shade. They gave their dogs some water and managed to get the dog to start up again and away they went.

Ash-throated Flycatcher
We mostly saw birds we had already seen such as; Mexican Jays, Bridled Titmouse, and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

Once we had it to the fork in the road we took the left path that pointed to Bog Spring Trail and we had .8 of a mile to go and the trail only got steeper. At times I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to the top, but I did. The first bird we heard singing high on top of a snag was a Black-headed Grosbeak. Such a lovely call they have. They we made it to the end of the trail as we were gonna go and then we were hearing birds singing away. We were searching the trees hoping for a owl or nightjar. No luck there. 

We then spotted the female Western Tanager and a few minutes later we saw the male. The next new bird was Hammond's Flycatcher. What a nice surprise he was. Not the greatest picture but there he is. 

Hammond's Flycatcher

We also saw some Western Wood-Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Greater Pewee. The next new bird we spotted was a Dusky-capped Flycatcher.

Dusky-capped Flycatcher
On our way back down the mountain we caught sight of the Black-throated Warbler; but got only one picture that turned out good enough of an ID.

Black-throated Gray Warbler
It took us a good three hours to get up that hill and probably about 30 minutes to get down it. Once back to the rental car we filed up on water and headed to the bird feeders! 

Acorn Woodpecker
At the feeders we saw Black-headed Grosbeaks, Lesser Goldfinch, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Blue Bunting. 

Acorn Woodpecker
While we were there watching the birds a man came in a sat on the bench next to us. His name was Steve and was from Phoenix. 

Simon and Steve were chatting and I asked if he knew of any places to see a Gray Hawk. He told us there was actually on right up the road from where we were at on a nest! So he said he would show us where it was and we headed down there. Once it spotted us it took flight and started calling and circling over her nest. We took some pictures and decided it was best to leave her and her young alone. Then Steve told us where to find a Painted Redstart; but we only heard that one. 
Gray Hawk
Arizona got us up to 324 and while we were in Washington state we caught sight of #325 Black Swift! It's only June and we are almost to our goal of 400! We don't plan to stop once we hit 400 but we also know we probably won't make it over 500. We must be realistic and we are stuck in a truck doing this big year, so we can't just pack up and head to TX or FL like we would love to do! 

Happy Birding and Good Luck to the other people doing their Big Year!!!!!