On December 7th we entered SE Arizona into Portal in the the Chiricahua Mountains and the beautiful Cave Creek Canyon.
A place full of all new species of birds: Mexican Jays; Magnificent and Blue-throated Hummingbirds; and two new species of Woodpeckers (Acorn & Arizona).
Drove the old mountain road to Paradise to find Juniper Titmice and three species of Towhees (Spotted, Green-tailed and Canyon).
Between Wilcox and Bisbee is the famous wintering grounds for thousands of Sandhill Cranes - Whitewater Draw. Of course there are many other birds that make this their winter home too such as Snow & Ross's Geese, many ducks, shorebirds and passerines. A new bird for our retirement list was the Ruddy Ground Dove. We spent a cold night in the parking lot watching over 10,000 cranes come in to stand in the water for the night. Then watched them all leave again breaking through shell ice to go feed in the nearby corn fields that are planted just for them.
After camping a night at Quail River RV Park we drove to Patagonia stopping at Patton's bird feeding area and photographed this Anna's Hummingbird sharing with the honey bees.
Other birds coming to feed were a Bridled Titmouse, (pictured), Lazuli Bunting, Abert's Towhee, and Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers.
We also walked around the town square and this White-Crowned Sparrow was very cooperative for getting his picture taken.
On the way to Lake Patagonia State Park, we drove through the vineyards and grasslands near Elgin where we found our first Pronghorn.
At Lake Patagonia we found this sleepy Broad-billed Hummingbird keeping guard over the feeder at the Nature Center.
We walked along the creek that flows into the lake and is the best place for birds. While I rested on a fallen tree, Ty trekked another mile up the canyon and comes back saying, "You won't believe what I saw!" Then shows me the photos of a mama Cougar with two young.
After 17 hours in 2 1/2 days of searching for this 14" Elegant Trogon with only a fleeting glimpse earlier. Ty was able to leisurely capture some photos of this gorgeous male munching on grasshoppers before going to roost before dark.
So we said, "Good-bye" to Lake Patagonia and headed north for 6 weeks in Tucson and spending some quality time with our good friend Patti Hancock for Christmas and the month of January.
God's Blessing to you all for the New Year.
Ty & Ida Baumann