We are enjoying the warm days and cool nights of the Arizona desert to end last year's birding and begin this year's. Our total for 2013 was 486 - it's a lot harder to reach 500 than we had hoped. Today is day 985 of our travels and we have seen 645 bird species for our retirement list.
Pictured are the Santa Rita Mountains about 40 miles south of Tucson with Madera Canyon nestled between the rugged peaks. This area overwinters some very interesting birds:
|Hepatic Tanager at Santa Rita Lodge|
|Painted Redstart at the Gift Shop feeders|
One of the local Tucson birding areas is Reid Park with ponds and great cover for many wintering birds and the local ground squirrels.
|The very rare Lewis Woodpecker|
|Coyote calling for a photo|
Fortunately, directly behind our RV Park is the Pantano Wash, an urban riparian area that serves as a wildlife corridor. Our daily walks have produced some good finds:
|Prairie Falcon - note full crop|
|Anna's Hummingbirds - territorial dispute|
We took a drive north to the Santa Cruz Flats - an area dominated by agricultural fields, cotton and sod farms. We saw 42 Mountain Plovers, Mountain Bluebirds, many Crested Caracaras and raptors, Bendire's Thrasher and 5 Great Horned Owls perched in Tamarisk Trees.
As our Tucson visit winds down we have enjoyed quality time with our dear friend Patti Hancock, joining her for church, Bible study and entertaining at an Assisted Living Home. We also watched the NFL Playoffs and dined at Tucson's favorite eateries. This was also time to take care of RV maintenance and taxes.
We watch the winter weather reports from up north on TV and don't miss it at all!
Sending you warmth, love & prayers.
Ty & Ida Baumann