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Sunny Flat - Eastern Chiricahuas, AZ
mini location map2018-07-10
10 by photographer avatarcactuscat
photographer avatar
 
Sunny Flat - Eastern Chiricahuas, AZ 
Sunny Flat - Eastern Chiricahuas, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar Jul 10 2018
cactuscat
Car Camping5.00 Miles
Car Camping5.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
BIRD NERD PARADISE (AND THEN SOME)

This place never fails to amaze and delight.

Cave Creek Canyon/Chiricahua's are crawling with birders in the Spring - for good reason - but some of the best birds are mostly reserved for those who visit in the Summer. Knowing this, and with forecasts calling for cooler than average temps and some rain (but not too much), I choose this destination over a few others I had been considering.

Arrived at the Canyon early afternoon, just after a pretty good storm swept through (I watched it the whole drive down). Stopped at the V.C. real quick to see what was up, and ran into a guy who had been camping at Roper recently - I recognized him and his walrus-mustache even before I saw the crazy hand-painted Jesusmobile in the parking lot :lol: . Saw a dozen Coues Deer between the V.C. and Sunny Flat.

Stewart had only one campsite occupied, but I choose Sunny Flat this time because some of the sites have nice big ramadas over the picnic tables ... it was a good call, with rain on and off all day and night. Also only one other camper in S.F. as well - big difference from my last visit in April! More deer literally in my campsite when I arrived.

Main goal for this trip was to see another Elegant Trogon - and photograph it this time. No Trogons on Tuesday, but in between rain I did get to see my first Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, which have a teeny tiny U.S. range ... managed to get a few pics of them the next day.

Wednesday on my way to the Portal Cafe for breakfast, I got my first Blue Grosbeaks! :D They were not even on my radar for this trip, but I had really wanted to see them sometime.

Back to Sunny Flat, and I could hear a Trogon calling - grabbed my camera and set off on the chase. Followed the sound through the trees for a while and then there he was in all his glory! Got a few shots, then continued chasing up the South Fork road. Got my first Strickland's "Arizona" Woodpecker, then a female Trogon too!

Did not get to see the large male bear who has been terrorizing hummingbird feeders from Sunny Flat to the Visitor's Center.

Had a couple really nice conversations with some fellow birders (one of whom helped me get the Hepatic Tanager and showed me an Elf Owl nest), and even some herpers.

Stopped at the Chiricahua Desert Museum to get a new hat on the way home, and discovered they have an awesome outdoor garden area with tons of turtles, tortoises, lizards and such in residence - spent another hour there ... can't believe I missed that on my two previous visits to the museum!

Picked up a book about Cave Creek Canyon in the V.C. which states that Cave Creek Canyon and that part of the Chiricahua's have the greatest biological diversity of any place in the country - I believe it!



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