Friday, 20 May 2016

Arizona ... Days 7 & 8

Common Raven

After a good breakfast I was given a packed lunch and headed for Cave Creek Canyon. Elegant Trogons are becoming more and more common in Arizona. However they still can be tricky to find. I arrived early and parked near the entrance to South Fork Road. As I walked into the area I heard the Trogons calling … Oi Oi Oi Oi. I could tell they were near the far canyon wall, so I headed through the wood to the dry river bed. Immediately I had three fly past. One landed and I managed the worst possible ‘record’ shot. I didn’t meet anyone else that day that managed to see them.

Elegant Trogon

Arizona Woodpecker
After that the walk was very enjoyable. I spent several hours walking along the canyon road/trail. 

Hairy Woodpecker

Western Wood-Pewee

Nearby Silver Creek was poor (probably because of the time of day). At Portal, a lovely small community there is a good store with cold drinks! Also it seems all the residents are birders. This is also known as a good place to see owls (pity I couldn’t make an evening visit). Lots of gardens filled with flowering plants and all sorts of feeders. One with a birders welcome sign.

 I set off for Willcox after a 5am walk to Horseshoe Canyon. This canyon is about 2 mile from the ranch/guest house. There are lots of interesting historical objects to be found. If I had known I would have liked another day here because I’m sure the canyon would also turn up some interesting new birds.

I did find a Crissal Thrasher on my way back to the guest house which saved me a visit to Dave Jasper’s  feeders (Portal Road) where they come into the garden.

American Avocet

A big breakfast and plenty of coffee set me up for the drive to Willcox. Before checking in I located the Twin Lakes Golf Course and Cochise Lake (Willcox Lake). The guide advises driving round the rim (when dry) and birding from the car. I thought that was a bit lazy so I covered myself in sun cream and insect repellent and set about walking around the rim. After 20m I headed back to the car to follow the site guides instructions. It was 90F, teeming with insects and the eat haze over he pool meant the scope was useless. It was however a terrific spot and I actually visited this pool three times and found different birds each trip.

Red-necked and Wilson’s Phalaropes, Ducks, Ibis, More Waders and lots of Horned Larks were around this small pool. The heat haze made them impossible to photograph.

Cochise Lake

Golf Course Pools

Harris Hawk

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