Sunday, March 12, 2017


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

Gila Woodpecker

Inca Dove

American Avocets

Curve-billed Thrasher

Gamble's Quail

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

Horned Lark

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

Pygmy Nuthatch

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.
Yellow-eyed Junco

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
Rufous-winged Sparrow

Cactus Wren on Ocotillo 

Black-throated Sparrow

Rufous-capped Warbler

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.

Magnificent Hummingbird

Broad-billed Hummingbird

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.
Bridled Titmouse

Tom Turkey

Mexican Jay

Next stop for the blog will be Patagonia Lake State Park,  a great place for more birding.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

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