Thursday, 12 May 2016

More Avian Adventures!

With June left holding the fort in the Algarve, Peter has again been off again leading a tour for Avian Adventures, this time in his favourite Arizona.  It was his 22nd visit to the Grand Canyon state and his 14th spring tour there.

This year's tour was confined to the south-east of the state with just one brief excursion north of Tucson to find Burrowing Owl.  The itinerary included stays in Portal, Sierra Vista, Green Valley and Tucson, giving access to more excellent birding sites than could possibly be covered in the time available.

Here are some photographs of a few of the birds seen and places visited during two weeks of sunshine:

Scenic Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas

Burrowing Owl - in decline and becoming harder to find around Tucson

Willow Tank - an oasis in the desert, near Portal

Whitewater Draw - not much water at this time of year but still worth a visit

Patagonia Lake - a large man-made lake, good for ducks, grebes, shorebirds and more

Lower Sabino Canyon - saguaros, chollas, mesquite, palo verde and more

Amado Sewage Pond - often attracts something unusual, this time a Greater Scaup

Portal Main St. - always good for an early morning or evening walk

Black-throated Sparrow - an attractive common resident of desert scrub

Lark Sparrow - one of the most numerous birds we saw

Cactus Wren - the official state bird of Arizona

Greater Roadrunner - always popular and seemed particularly numerous this year

Scott's Oriole - one of three oriole species seen

(Mexican) Spotted Owl - well worth the climb up Miller Canyon 

Lucifer Hummingbird - eight species of hummingbirds were seen

Vermilion Flycatcher - presumably a first-year male

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