[Tweeters] OT: Birding trip to NV, AZ & CA
hank.heiberg at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 15 19:27:19 PST 2013
Karen and I recently flew to Las Vegas and took a 20 day birding car trip. Our favorite bird sightings were a juvenile California Condor at the Grand Canyon, 2 Painted Redstarts (Madera Canyon), 2 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Amado STP south of Green Valley, AZ), a Blue-footed Booby (Bill Williams River NWR, AZ), 2 Magnificent Hummingbirds (Madera Canyon), a Cassin's Kingbird & Crissal Thrasher & Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (all at Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, NV) & 2 Yellow-eyed Juncos (Ramsey Canyon, AZ).
We left Seattle on 10/14 and returned on 11/2. So it was not prime birding time in AZ, but we more than satisfied. Our favorite birding locales were Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve (only 45 minutes from the car rental office in Las Vegas); the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix; Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson; Madera Canyon SE of Green Valley Arizona; Paton's yard in Patagonia, AZ; all of the Sierra Vista area and the Bill Williams River NWR in AZ.
When we drove up to Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon, the cashier was outside looking at a Painted Redstart. She immediately pointed it out to us. Later further up the canyon the lady who owns Madera Kubo B&B with her husband came out and birded with us which was very helpful. We saw another Painted Redstart along with many other birds. She is a lovely lady. Here is a photo of the B&B.
How cute is that!
One birder we met told us that we had to go to Ash Canyon B&B which is near Sierra Vista. We drove there and sat in the chairs and birded. Nobody was home for the first hour or so. Then we heard a "Hello birders!". The lady who runs the place and who dropped out of the SF tech world 19 years ago had just had cataract surgery, but she joined us in birding wearing an eye patch and those large dark glasses. She was calling out birds left and right.
Another real plus of the trip was the birders that we met from around the U.S. and Europe who, without exception, were friendly and helpful. The staff members at Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve were especially so. We met two separate couples who spend 7 months each year driving around the U.S. birding.
We would be more than happy to answer questions and go into more detail. Just send us an e-mail. Here is a photo journal of the birds that we saw and were able to photo. Unfortunately this does not include a Painted Redstart or a Yellow-eyed Junco.
Hank & Karen Heiberg
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