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Monday, February 3, 2014

Arizona Trip Day 3

Sedona, Arizona
     After spending the night in the great town of Sedona in northern Arizona we rose early to bird around town. Sedona is a gorgeous area of Arizona with the large, red, rock formations that make the town famous and is a gathering place for a large art community. We started birding on the Minquas trail just south of the chapel which is an attraction in itself.


     On the trail we were able to find a flock of 30 Bushtits chattering among themselves as they fed along the trail. Bald Eagles were present overhead but the Common Black Hawk that we saw the last time we visited here did not make an appearance. Red-shafted Flicker, Western Bluebird and the distinguished looking Phainopepla were also noted. Today was going to be a driving day. We had to drive about 6 hours south to get to southeastern Arizona at Madera Canyon. Along the way we stopped at a lot of national monuments and landmarks. One of the nicer stops was Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. 
      Montezuma Well is a large spring in the middle of the desert where a tribe of Indians made their home.

Montezuma Well
The water help sustained the tribe but also caused a slow death since there is a small amount of arsenic in the water. 
     The Montezuma Castle was an ancient Indian home built into the mountain side similar to the Pueblo Indians in Colorado.
                                  Montezuma Castle
      Between  both locations, which are part of the same monument but are different units, we added Canyon Wren, American Wigeon, Pied-billed Grebe, Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, Gambel's Quail and Chipping Sparrow.
     Next stop was the Gilbert Water Ranch which is a fancy name for a water treatment plant. However, this is a treatment plant which was planned to help wildlife and provide a park for the local residents. This is a great spot in the middle of the Phoenix complex. The last time we were here we searched for the Streak-backed Oriole but failed in our attempt to get a glimpse. This time we found Black-necked Stilts, Avocet, Lesser Scaup, Great and Snowy Egrets, Sora, Least Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Black and Say's Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Western Scrub-Jay, Curve-billed Thrasher and Abert's Towhee.  
Abert's Towhee

Long-billed Dowitcher

Barrel Cactus

Cinnamon Teal


Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet - definitive plumage
     Next stop was Florida Canyon which is right next to Madera Canyon in southeast Arizona. Florida Canyon has held Rufous-capped Warblers now for about four winters and we have tried in the past for this little guy without success. This time we had better directions and so we hiked up the trail around four o'clock in the afternoon. Unfortunately, at that time the canyon is already in the shadows of the surrounding mountains so all the bird life was already settled in for the night. So we drove back out of the canyon and there was still two hours of sunlight left so we headed to the foothills of the Madera Canyon. There was a reported Northern Pygmy-Owl along the Proctor Road trail and we searched in vain for that but once again today we got skunked.
       We arrived at the Kubo Lodge for the night and were settling in when we heard a large raucous outside in the dark. I went outside and figured out that it must have been a flock of Wild Turkeys going to roost up in the tall sycamores across the street. Tomorrow we would try again for the Rufous-capped Warbler
Our Cabin at Kubo Lodge  
Front of our Cabin

1 comment:

  1. Kellie and I have been fortunate enough to travel to these regions a couple of times, but before we got into birding. We absolutely love Arizona - the canyons, the desert - and can't wait to make another trip. But after reading this, we are even more motivated.


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