On March 2nd, we left California and drove to Phoenix, Arizona. We went directly to Encanto Park to find the nesting Rosy-faced Lovebirds, and we found them even before we parked as we heard their noisy chattering. We were able to find a place to stay but there was only one spot open at TowerPoint RV park in Mesa.
|Ring-necked Duck - multi-eyed reflection|
Next morning early we headed to Gilbert Water Ranch, a great water reclamation project that turned into a wonderful park for people to walk, bird, walk dogs and fish.
|Ring-necked Duck hen|
Our next stop was the Santa Cruz Flats between Phoenix and Tucson. We found the Bendire's Thrasher only because he was trying to attract a mate with his beautiful song.
|Coyote gets chased by two Ravens|
We had planned to spend the whole morning at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson but most of it was dry for annual maintenance, but we did find this beautiful Ruddy Duck coming into breeding plumage.
|Greater Roadrummer greets us at Sweetwater|
|Raccoon with late breakfast plans checks out Mallards|
|Hoodoos on Mt. Lemmon|
Since we had some time we decided to drive the 25 mile trip up Mt. Lemmon, through 5 life zones. This is like traveling from Mexico to Canada in a short distance. At the cold, windy village of Summerhaven we found the Pygmy Nuthatch, Stellar's Jays and the Yellow-eyed Juncos.
We camped at Molina Canyon and were blessed with a beautiful sunset. Next morning we drove the rest of the way down the mountain and into the Saguaro National Park, east side of Tucson.
|Saguaro National Park by the Rincon Mountains|
|Cactus Wren on Ocotillo|
We stayed at Green Valley RV Resort for one night and early the next morning drove into Florida Canyon on the north side of the Santa Rita Mountains. Our target bird was this Rufous-capped Warbler, a rare Mexican visitor that loves to hide in the dense brush of the canyon. A long, rugged hike in but well worth it.
We drove into Madera Canyon and watched the birds at the feeders at the Santa Rita Lodge. This only gets better in the months to come.
Next stop for the blog will be Patagonia Lake State Park, a great place for more birding.
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann