Back from Arizona

view toward Madera Canyon area, Arizona

We’ve just returned from a successful birding trip in Arizona. We based ourselves in Tubac, AZ, south of Tucson at the Tubac Country Inn, a wonderful B&B (see Related Links). On our first day ( April 9 ) we started out on the Anza Trail ( see Related Links) which starts at the bridge crossing and goes 1.25 miles from each trailhead into a riparian habitat.

Out here we saw gila woodpecker, western kingbird, vermillion flycatcher and a gilded flicker. Thankfully these were birds we have seen before because our bird i.d book was still in our luggage which hadn’t as yet arrived. From Tubac we went over to Patagonia S.P. ( still no bird guide!) and was able to identify some of our sightings but mostly called out detailed descriptions into our recorder which we “transcribed” later. We got Bell’s vireo with the help of other birders who saw it with us and definitely knew its song.

Curt: Patagonia S.P.

Paton’s, a private residence that puts out feeders and invites birds and birders to its yard yielded broad-billed, violet crowned and rufous hummingbirds.

The next day, with Sibley’s finally in hand, we went to Madera Canyon. Six life birds were seen! Hooded oriole, hepatic tanager, Arizona WP, yellow-eyed junco, magnificent hummingbird and a phainopepla! It was great. Most of these were around the Kubo B&B which is in the canyon and puts out many feeders to encourage the birds.

Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Tucson netted us 16 more birds for our yearly list. Highlights were the Neotropic cormorant and a Harris hawk.

Sunday, with the help of friends Merce and Michael, we tried to get two target birds, spotted owl and Montezuma quail, but for all our trekking we just couldn’t find them. However the day was not a total loss for as we left Carr Canyon, Merce spotted a Zone tailed hawk.  Our friends took us on to Mary Jo’s, another private residence set up for birding and birders, where we saw a lucifer hummingbird  and a black headed grosbeak. Are you bored with this posting yet? I’ll finish up by saying that even though we missed the flame colored tanager and the elf owls at Madera Canyon the next day we added a painted redstart and a common blackhawk. It was a very good 4 days of birding.


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