Monday, August 10, 2015

Patagonia & Santa Rita Mountains, Arizona

Snuggle time for Gambel's Quail

On July 29th we drove to Patagonia, a small village between Sierra Vista and Nogales, AZ. There we headed to the Paton's bird feeding house now run by the Tucson Audubon.  The wash before the area had about 8 inches of mud on each side so we parked and gingerly walked up the banks to the gravel wash and over the other bank on the grass.  There are many hummingbird and seed feeders that were hopping with activity.
Lesser Goldfinch

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Vermilion Flycatcher

Broad-billed Hummingbirds argue over space

Thick-billed Kingbird

Next stop was the small roadside picnic area situated between high rock cliffs on the south and the Sonita Creek riparian area on the north.  This is one of the only places in the U.S. where Thick-billed Kingbirds nest.
Barrel Cactus in bloom

Pleasant Fungus Beetles

We were able to get a campsite for 3 nights at Patagonia Lake State Park.  Two days of peaceful birding but come Friday...hundreds of families arrived for days of boating, swimming, and fishing as this is the "only" lake for miles around.  Here's some of the great examples of God's creation that we found at the park.
Gray Hawk sounds off

Yellow-breasted Chat

Bell's Vireo on nest

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Green Peach Beetle

Chihuahuan Lubber - Flightless adult

Summer Tanager

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar 

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

We then spent 2 nights in the hot desert at DeAnza RV Resort between Amondo and Tubac.  We thankfully had air conditioning and a pool for a refreshing dip in this nearly deserted park.
DeAnza RV Park - Elephant Head and Santa Rita Mts.

Sweet 4 O'clock

Pena Blanca Canyon

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

After a stop south to Pena Blanca Lake, we headed north to Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains.  We found a campsite open for our three night stay.
Varied Bunting

Arizona Woodpecker

Colorful Broad-billed Hummingbird

Black-headed Grosbeak

Each day we went farther into the canyon, walked the trails and enjoyed the many birds.  We watched the feeders at the lodge and a small gift shop ("Kubo").  We drove one evening to the lower valley to listen for the Buff-collared Nightjar and had one fly right over us to the other side of the road.  A wonderful surprise but too dark for a photo.
White-lined Sphinx Moth

Spotted Orbweaver 

Costa's Hummingbird

This is as far west as we are going, heading back to Sierra Vista for a few days and on to Wilcox.  Fall migration has already started for warblers, hummingbirds and shorebirds.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

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