Friday, February 14, 2014

Last Days in Arizona

Dragoon Mountains west of Wilcox

After leaving Tucson, we traveled a loop around SE AZ back to some of the places we had already been but wanted to visit again.  We added over 25 bird species for the year list by visiting Whitewater Draw, Paton's feeders at Patagonia, Patagonia Lake State Park, Madera & Florida Canyons.  
Thousands of Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw

Barn Owl at Whitewater Draw

Sunset at Whitewater Draw

Lazuli Bunting at Paton's

Trogon at Patagonia Lake

Elegant Trogon, immature male

Burrowing Owl

Desert Orange-tipped Butterfly at Florida Canyon

Hepatic Tanager female at Madera Canyon

Arch in Ajo Mountains

Time to move on to new territory.  A great visit to the beautiful flowering desert of Organ Pipe National Monument.  We traveled the dusty, 21 mile auto tour through the Ajo Mountains.  We found the elusive LeConte's Thrasher.  From the campground after dark, we heard several Com. Poorwills and very near our RV we had a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl come out of a Saguaro Cactus cavity and fly over us calling.
Organ Pipe Cactus

Lake Havasu

We drove northwest to Lake Havasu on the Colorado River.  A Blue-footed Booby had been observed roosting on a rock island northeast of Parker Dam.  We were able to see him through the scope but much too far away for a photo.  We had good looks at him preening for over an hour then he took off and flew high over the mountains.

We added another 14 species for our year list including Clark's & Western Grebes, Barrow's Goldeneye, White-winged Scoters, and other gulls and ducks.  Interesting birds to get in this rocky desert area.

We are crossing into California this morning, across the Mojave Desert to Joshua Tree National Monument.  Then to the Salton Sea before heading to the Pacific Ocean.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

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