Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
SE Arizona: May 15-21, 2006,
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Catalina State Park, Catalina Mountains
Tucson Botanical Gardens
May 15: Flew to Tucson via Chicago from New York. Not long after checking into my hotel room upon arrival at the La Quinta Hotel where I stayed, I heard some cheerful singing outside amongst the trees. Upon investigating, found a beautiful House Finch perched atop a tree. It was my first bird of the trip.
May 16: A morning was spent at the Desert Museum just outside of Tucson. Upon entering the grounds, spotted a Cactus Wren perched atop a Saguaro Cactus, it was my first life bird. Additional birds spotted on the grounds were the ever plentiful (and noisy) Gila Woodpecker and Bronze Cowbird. But the real find was a pair of Pyrhulloxia, outside and not far from the aviary.
May 17: This was not a birding day. But did enjoy the museums at the University in town.
May 18: Picked up at 7:30am by Melody Kehl. As it was already getting hot by 8:00am, we headed to a Christopher Columbus Park, a local park with a paved path and picnic tables before heading to the Catalina’s and the Mt Lemmon area. The local park, which was in an area of ranchlands, birds seen here included Western Kingbird, Purple Martin and Curve-billed Thrasher. We then ascended the road stopping at numerous points in order to get species in the various zones. Several Warbler, Vireo and Flycatcher species were tallied here. Virtually all were new life species for me. Standouts included the Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler, Mexican Jay and Western Bluebird. On the way back into town, we spotted a Harris Hawk perched atop a telephone pole. Great.
May 19: This wasn’t really a birding day, but did hear what I believed to be a Scaled Quail and spotted a Swainsons Hawk, Identified by the habitat, color and wings.
May 20: Spent a glorious morning in the Tucson Botanical Gardens where great looks of Gambels Quail, Hooded Oriole and Broad Tailed Hummingbird were had in addition to the flowers and cacti.
May 21: Departed early for my flight home. End of a great trip.
Bird List: (This list is organized according to the official Checklist of the Tucson Audubon Society)
In addition to all those listed, there were the ever present House Sparrows, Rock Doves and Starlings.