Monday, August 5, 2019

Southeast Arizona: Day 1 - Birding Tucson Mountain Park, Tumacácori & Madera Canyon

My birding trip to Southeast Arizona started on Tuesday Morning in late July (30th). I landed at Tucson airport at 10 am and obtained my rental car. I eagerly set my GPS unit to my first destination.

My goal on the first day was to cover the following three locations:

  • Tucson Mountain Park
  • Tumacácori 
  • Madera Canyon

Birding Southeast Arizona in July August - 7 Part Series!
1. Overview of Trip 
2. Day 1 - Birding Tucson Mountain Park, Tumacácori & Madera Canyon (This Posting!)
3. Day 2 - Birding Brown Canyon Ranch, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve , Box Canyon
4. Day 3 Birding Miller Canyon, San Pedro House Riparian Area, Chiricahua National Monument
5. Day 4  Birding Portal Cave Creek Canyon
6. Butterfly Watching in Southeast Arizona
7. Southeast Arizona Hummingbirds Seen in late July 2019


My first destination was Tucson Mountain Park - which features a very hot, arid desert type habitat. Cactus of all shapes and sizes amazed me because ... I don't think I've ever seen them so close up and in person.  It amazed me that anything can live in this hot, sunny, dry environment.

Some birds seen where:

Western Tanager
White winged Dove
Cactus Wren (Lifer #412)
Verdin (Lifer #413)
Brown Crested Flycatcher  (Lifer #414)
Curve billed Thrasher  (Lifer #415)
Black tailed Gnatcatcher  (Lifer #416)
House Finches?

Brown crested Flycatchers love hot, arid environments...

After about an hour - I moved on to a place about 1 hour south of Tucson called: Tumacácori National Historical Park (Santa Cruz River). This site is a historical park that features an old ruins of a church built by spanish jesuits. There are interesting historical stories at this site as this was the meeting point of Spanish colinizers with natives. They worked in co-operation at times and conflict at others.  Two birds that I was hoping to see in this area were: Green Kingfisher & Rose throated Becard. I did not see either of these but found the following birds:

 Road Runner 417
 Bridled Titmouse 418
 Lesser Goldfinch 419
 Gila Woodpecker 420
 Phainlopepla 421
 Tropical Kingbird 422

Tropical Kingbird - Note the notched tails and large bills, along with the location is diagnostic

Bridled Titmouse and Lesser Goldfinches bathing in the San Pedro River

This site is a riparian area along a river (the San Pedro River) which was reduced to a small clear stream. Lots of butterflies and birds were present.

After spending some time at Tumacácori, I needed to head towards Sierra Vista but the famous  Madera Canyon was going to be an afternoon destination. Sadly - as I apprached this wonderful spot - dark clouds loomed overhead and basically, it was raining pretty heavily. Still, at Madera Canyon they had a visitor center with a wonderful birding location with lots of feeders.

There must have been 40 hummingbirds (of three distinct species) visiting 6 or so feeders. It was pretty incredible. Some birds seen at this site include:

 Rivoli's Hummingbird (split from its former name: Magnificent Hummingbird) 423
 Broad billed Hummingbird 424
 Hepatic Tanager 425
 Arizona Woodpecker 426
 Black throated Hummingbird 427

Its was pretty fun to pick up 16 new life birds in this first afternoon. I was dissapointed that the rain inhibited my birding at Madera Canyon, but even still - I just tried to make due with what I had. The visitor center was beautiful with welcoming staff.

Good Birding!

PS: Bonus footage from Madera Canyon Visitor Center Feeders

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...