SPRING’S LAST GASP-SE ARIZONA FOR 5 DAYS IN MAY

It seemed only logical to take the week before the surgeons rearranged the digits on my right foot and head to SE Arizona for a few days of photography.  Things went well: No foot pain; beautiful weather; and good numbers of birds.  Flew into Tucson and rented a compact car to drive to Patagonia (near the border and Nogales).  The Nature Conservancy has a reserve on Sonoita Creek and, although the drought has really dried up all the waterways, it seemed like the best bet for a beginning.

I arranged to rent a two-room apartment for 2 days.  Called “Camel Parts” (????) it worked out well with a good bed and shower.  Otherwise I was out looking for birds.

Camel Parts

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The next two mornings along Sonoita Creek I found a lot of the birds I was targeting…

Vermillion Flycatcher

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Gray Hawk

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Pyrrhuloxia

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Phainopepla

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Curve-billed Thrasher

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…and some of the more common ones

Gila Woodpecker

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Gamble Quail…

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The lonely males  singing their hearts out!

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…and a herd of javelina.

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At a private residence in Patagonia with hummingbird and bird feeders I found

Broad-billed Hummingbird

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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

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Ground Dove

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After 2 days it was time to head back to Tucson by way of Saguaro National Park-North Side.  The weather was perfect for some nice scenic pictures and an unusual event…all the saguaros sporting masses of blooms.

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Clark’s Spiny Lizard

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Round-tailed Ground Squirrel

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I’d forgotten how much I had loved working in the Arizona desert in the mid-1960’s.

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Of course, that was before the nut-cases controlled the politics and before the houses came right up to the boundaries of the National Park.

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I spent the next day at Sweetwater Wetlands in the City of Tucson, a really great wetlands developed for treated waste water and, although it was slow, scored a few good birds such as:

Common Yellowthroat

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Red-winged Blackbird

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American Coot

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Cooper’s Hawk

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All in all, a very good trip!

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