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Jan 26 2023
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Granite Reef & Phon D Sutton, AZ 
Granite Reef & Phon D Sutton, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2023
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went to find Rosy-faced Lovebirds in NE Mesa, then continued on to the Salt River. Despite the windy start, it turned into a great day! I want to move back here now.
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Jan 26 2023
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch - GilbertPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2023
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking2.50 Miles 6 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
6 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had to come back again. 46 species today - one of my best checklists ever.
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Jan 25 2023
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch - GilbertPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2023
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking1.60 Miles 6 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles
6 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Better known as "Water Ranch" to birders - and it is the #1 birding hotspot in the state, a title it took from Patagonia SP recently.
I lived a mile away in Val Vista Lakes when this place was just being constructed. I frequently walked the trails when there was very little vegetation and very few people. Lots of both now ... still very pleasant.
My target bird was the Black-and-White Warbler which has been hanging out in the same area - and mostly the same tree - for months now. It's generally hard to get good looks, but I got one decent photo. Lifer! 😁 There is also a very handsome Wilson's Warbler hanging out in the same tree.
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  2 archives
Jan 13 2023
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Woodpecker stakeout & Portal, AZ 
Woodpecker stakeout & Portal, AZ
 
Birding avatar Jan 13 2023
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Birding
Birding
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Couple of new birds for the label finder.
Red-headed Woodpecker has only been recorded about 10 times in AZ - and this one is a super easy drive-up bird, in case anyone is interested ... it was literally the first bird I saw when I rolled up to the stakeout spot.
Then I continued on to Cave Creek Ranch for some easy Evening Grosbeaks - the birds that had sent me on a 65 mile, 3+ hour long dirt road adventure the day before, and then I didn't even find them. I only saw females at CCR, but it's still a lifer - and I still have the males to look forward to someday. I also had the whole place to myself for an hour - which never happens - and had a great time seeing 30 different kinds of birds, plus deer and a coati.
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Dec 22 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Fort Bowie LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking3.75 Miles 515 AEG
Hiking3.75 Miles
515 ft AEG
 
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I do this at least 2-3 times per year, and it's always a great hike. Only a handful of other folks out there. Probably the best bird list I've gotten on this hike - 31 species, including at least six Townsend's Solitaires, which are having an "irruption year" in AZ this year. Also got Scaled Quail, which was a new bird for the year ... looks like I will finish the year with 246 species - two better than my previous best year!
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Nov 29 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Lake Cochise/Twin Lakes GC Willcox, AZ 
Lake Cochise/Twin Lakes GC Willcox, AZ
 
Birding avatar Nov 29 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Birding3.06 Miles
Birding3.06 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   1.67 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Recovering from my first bout with Covid, going stir-crazy ... so birding by car was in order.
Pretty good day - 34 species in just under two hours. Added four year birds, one of which was a lifer. I need six more to tie, seven more to beat my best year.
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  3 archives
Nov 17 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking1.45 Miles 259 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   1.09 mph
259 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been meaning to get to the Gila Cliff Dwellings for like six years, ever since I moved to Southeast AZ. Finally made it happen with a little birthday getaway with Chris ... it was worth the wait.
Our first stop was Silver City, which we both absolutely fell in love with. What a cool town! The shops, the art, the outdoorsy vibe and the incredibly friendly people had us thinking we could totally see living there.
Then on to our cabin near Lake Roberts - an amazing, cute little cabin on Sapillo Creek. The place was thoughtfully equipped and super tranquil, with a view of the horses out front and a bunch of bird feeders out back. We will likely visit again.
We spent half of the next day driving to and exploring the National Monument, then visited Lake Roberts for some birding.
The Dwellings are awesome - you actually get to climb up and walk through several of the rooms.
Lake Roberts was a nice surprise - larger and more interesting than I thought it would be. I got three new birds for the year and doubled my New Mexico life list.
Stopped in Siver City again on the way back to AZ, and enjoyed it for a second time. Adobe Springs Cafe was a nice find for lunch ... way better than La Familia on the first day.
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  4 archives
Oct 22 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Mount Hopkins Drive, AZ 
Mount Hopkins Drive, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Oct 22 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Spent Friday night at the Lodge.
Lounged around Saturday morning until checkout time. Scored my lifer Red-breasted Sapsucker, which hadn't been seen for about ten days, but kindly returned and posed nicely for me.
Amazing lunch at Stables Grill at the Tubac Golf Resort, followed by a bit of birding around the golf course and the lovely resort grounds.
Then we drove all the way up Mt. Hopkins, took a short hike up there and stopped to show Chris the sweat lodge down in Montosa Canyon.
Short but sweet little weekend getaway.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Oct 12 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Roger's RockTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking3.90 Miles 1,116 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   1.28 mph
1,116 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've had my eye on this loop for a while, and it did not disappoint.
Chris had work until noon, so we got on the trail just after 1pm.
We ran into quite a few people (and dogs - all leashed) on their way down the Super, but once we turned off on the Pipeline trail, we didn't see another soul. Really pleasant hiking along that trail, especially with the creek flowing vigorously.
Little bit of elevation gain before the turnoff to the rock, enough to call it a workout ... I need to get back in hiking shape.
We climbed up the backside of the rock and enjoyed a nice long break up there, accompanied only by the four lizards who kept a close eye on us. Views are pretty fine. Definitely a special spot. We heard voices nearby at one point, but no one ever joined us.
The short trail back to the Super just flew by, and we saw our first person right before rejoining it ... Chris saw more of that person than I did, lol - she was pretty close to the trail for a potty break! :lol:
Cruising down was a breeze on the Super Trail, though it did seem a bit longer than I anticipated.
Flowers are still lining the trails, and a few mushrooms are hanging on here and there.
I imagine we will be hiking this loop many more times in the future.
Followed up by a night at the Santa Rita - first time staying in a cabin ... it was bigger, and the private deck was enjoyable, but I think I actually prefer my normal smaller casita - which is where we will be next time, in a few weeks.
Noted some Turkeys, Acorn Woodpeckers, Yellow-eyed Juncos, Mexican Jays, Painted Redstart, and one gorgeous Rivoli's Hummingbird who flew right up to inspect us while we were having coffee on the deck this morning - but did not keep a list or take any bird photos ... this trip wasn't about the birds. We also had several deer frequently browsing just behind the cabin.
All around a very enjoyable - if brief - visit.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Some Sycamores turning along the creek.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Sep 30 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Madera Nature Trail #88Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 30 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking2.50 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First hike with a new friend - the day was a bit of a comedy of errors, but we laughed alot and it was memorable.
First we had to turn around and go back to Rancho Sahuarita to pick up the hiking shoes that she forget in her truck when she hopped in mine - she didn't realize it until we were just a mile or two from our destination.
When we finally got there, the weather was perfect, the flowers still blooming and the creek in fine form. Parked at Whitehouse and hiked upstream ... a few other folks out enjoying the day, but not crowded. We enjoyed a casual stroll up the trail and when we crossed the big bridge at the Amphitheater area, we heard the first thunder ... walked down the road and by the time we got close to the lodge it was raining harder and harder - we were pretty well soaked when we dashed into the gift shop. Made the best of it by ordering up some coffees and browsing around the shop for about 20 minutes, then I obtained a plastic bag to wrap my camera in and we resumed the hike. It was interesting to see how just that short spurt of hard rain had turned the formerly crystal clear creek into muddy brown.
Drove Yuki out to the Elephant Head TH to check that out just for the heck of it.
Followed up by a pickleball lesson for me - I really enjoyed it, but even that was cut short by wind and lightning. More pounding rain - briefly - as I headed east on Sahuarita, plus quite a lightning show towards Tucson as I was driving. Monsoon 2022 doesn't want to end.
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Sep 27 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Dead Horse Ranch State ParkSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking1.60 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had the opportunity to spend a few days at DEHO for an excellent training course by a team from the University of Denver's business school.
It was nice to be back in the Verde Valley, and I had almost forgotten what a nice park it is ... much bigger, greener and wilder than mine.
Only had time for one short hike after we wrapped on Tuesday - saw some birds, deer, and a nice sunset. Got back to my truck at the same time as one other guy from central office who also took a hike ... and we soon found we were locked in the day-use area by a gate that they close at 6pm. 🤣 We had to go find the Ranger residence to get out.
Including a few photos of our final activity - building a boat out of cardboard and garbage bags in 40 minutes, and racing it 50 yards ... my team killed it! 😁
The whole thing was actually really great, and I'm looking forward to the next two-day session in November.
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Sep 15 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Cave Creek Canyon, AZ 
Cave Creek Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking12.20 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Several hikes/bird walks, and a couple of bike rides.
The weather was ideal and the creeks were flowing better than I've ever seen them.
Stayed at Sunny Flat, which was about half full - Stewart and Idlewilde only had one or two campers each.
Bird activity was relatively low - but I did see my first Elegant Trogon in over a year, and got pretty good photos. Lots of deer, a few javelinas and a couple of snakes rounded out the wildlife.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cave Creek Canyon
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  2 archives
Aug 30 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Shannon CampgroundTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Aug 30 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Car Camping2.50 Miles
Car Camping2.50 Miles
 no routes
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
Quick overnight at Shannon.
Joe is gone, Mike is gone ... just one other couple camping.
The streams are running good through the campground. Raspberries are pretty picked over, but the ones I found were yummy.
Rain came in while I was out hiking - had to rush back to keep everything in my tent from being soaked - shouldn't have left camp without putting the fly on, no matter how unlikely rain looked ... summer in the mountains, I know better.
Stopped at Angle Orchard on the way down, since they were unexpectedly open mid-week. That was fun! And the apples are amazing.
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Apple
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  2 archives
Aug 26 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Madera Nature Trail #88Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking3.25 Miles 973 AEG
Hiking3.25 Miles
973 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Couple of short hikes, before and after my massage ... a treat I will not be skipping on any of my future visits! 😁

Amphitheater area to lodge and back, and Whitehouse down to Proctor area and back - did not check Proctor waterfall, or my favorite hidden falls since I figured access would be tricky with the high water.
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Aug 25 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Vault Mine Trail #77Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking2.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
I had a couple hours to kill before check-in time at the Santa Rita, so I decided to finally hike a bit of the upper trails - in all my trips to Madera Canyon I've mostly just stuck to the middle and lower canyon except for hiking the Bogs/Kent Spring Loop once or twice.

The name of this trail is confusing but I guess I was officially on the Vault Mine, even though ebird calls it Carrie Nation? What a lovely trail - definitely made me want to hike UP the mountain sometime soon. Kept my eyes open for the Elegant Trogons, but I never look for them too hard since I usually see them every year just by being in the places they are - that said, I still have not seen any yet this year.

Only saw a handful of people along the trail. Rained lightly for much of the hike, but the tree cover is thick enough that I rarely noticed it ... didn't have to cover my camera until I was almost back within sight of the parking lot, then dashed for my truck.

After check-in, I walked down the Creek to Whitehouse, then back up to the Amphitheater ... everything is SO green and the creek is flowing stronger than I think I've ever seen it - couldn't even cross it easily.

Birding at the lodge was amazing, as usual. I had a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher calling in the tree behind my casita as I was unloading my stuff - my cooler and backpack got temporarily abandoned outside in the rain while I went to look ... and soon after, I had a Painted Redstart catching moths right on my porch. At the lodges's feeders, I was able to see and photograph the rare Berylline Hummingbird - only my second one ever.

Safe to say Madera Canyon/Santa Rita Lodge is currently my happiest place!
 Culture
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Trash Hauled Out
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Madera Canyon
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Jun 15 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Montosa Canyon, AZ 
Montosa Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking1.00 Miles
Hiking1.00 Miles   2 Hrs      0.50 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Woke up at the Lodge and got going fairly early.

Decided to try for Five-striped Sparrows today. Drove out Box Canyon Road, where I had seen one once before, not knowing that apparently that hotspot has expired ... they were seen there from 2017-2021, but not this year. Still a fun drive and a lovely area, with some good birds.

Went back to the lodge to check out, birded the feeders there one more time and got my first (and second) Bronzed Cowbird of the year.

I choose Montosa Canyon from my book on a bit of a whim, with Fivers still as the main objective and Black-capped Gnatcatchers as another possibility.

Really pretty drive out to the Whipple Observatory Visitor's Canter (closed to the public, temporarily(?)) ... then parked just past the "concrete creek crossing" at the ebird hotspot. I spent a while in that area, enjoying the Bell's Vireo's, Brown-crested and Ash-throated Flycatchers and a Hooded Oriole. Took a little break in the shade under a very cool old Juniper at the creek crossing, then began the short walk up to my truck, planning to leave as it was already getting hot.

20 yards from my truck I froze as I first heard an unfamiliar bird call, then spotted the bird on the ground like eight feet from me - and it was a Five-striped Sparrow! This is still one of the rarest birds you can see in the US, and every time it's reported it shows up on the national rare bird alert. It's so exciting to find a rare bird like this all by yourself - my heart was racing and my hands were shaking a bit as I got my photos - it's a rush!

After observing the bird for a few minutes, a car approached and I kinda waved them down, assuming they were birders. When the window rolled down I saw my new friend Mary in the passenger seat and her guide, Richard Fray driving ... Mary hopped out to see the bird while Richard went to park the car. We got great photos and heard another bird across the street - so that was one breeding pair. Mary and Richard didn't mind if I tagged along for their hike - and anytime I can get a free hike with an excellent guide, I will take it! So I stayed another 90 minutes or so and hiked up the Canyon with them - Richard is very familiar with the area and had wonderful commentary on the birds and the area. I was ready to turn back after we saw and photographed our SECOND PAIR of Five-striped Sparrows, but he said he had something cool to show us just a little farther up the trail. (Side note, Mary left her water in the car ... Richard said it would be a ten minute hike, but at birding speed it was actually about 45 minutes.)

But the payoff was cool, indeed. See my photos of the sweatlodge. I actually would have found it quite creepy if I had stumbled upon it by myself. I was curious how such a thing exists on FS land, so I looked into it later ... apparently it's been operating there by permit since 1990. I was somewhat surprised that I had never seen it on HAZ before ... but not surprised at all when I searched and found that rwstorm was our only member to visit it previously, as far as I can tell.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Box Canyon
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Jun 14 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Juan Bautista De Anza Trail Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Birding avatar Jun 14 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Birding1.74 Miles 98 AEG
Birding1.74 Miles
98 ft AEG
 
Linked   linked  
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Quick overnight birding getaway with Santa Rita Lodge as my basecamp, as usual.
Had a couple hours work in the morning, so I didn't reach the area until about noon. I went straight to the De Anza Trail at Tubac bridge, intending to add Rose-throated Becards to my year list (I saw them once before, a few years ago). The Santa Cruz River was barely hanging on here, but the habitat is bonkers - absolutely teeming with life and activity, even in the oppressive mid-day heat. Spent about two hours meandering and enjoying myself ... I did see a Becard - sitting above a pair of nests - and also got my first Yellow-billed Cuckoo of the year.
Next I hit Sahuarita to pick up a few items, then on to the Canyon and the Lodge. Birded the feeders for a few minutes before I even went to my casita, and met a few of my fellow guests ... Mary had just arrived from Florida for her first visit to SEAZ, and she was already pretty dazzled. There was also a trio of mammalogists from back east, here for a conference in Tucson ... and later another mammalogist all the way from Switzerland would join the group.
I spent an hour or so hiking the canyon Nature Trail solo ... the creek only has water in a few sparse places - I sure hope monsoon fires up for them this weekend as expected.
Back to the Lodge and the feeders in time to catch a surprise Violet-crowned Hummingbird! Pretty rare visitor for Madera Canyon - I've only seen them at Paton's in Patagonia before - and a thrilling score for my new friend from Florida, where they generally only get one kind of Hummingbird. Mary and I and two of the mammalogists wandered across the street to the owner's house to scope out the power pole in front for the famous Elf Owl ... had to go up the stairs into his yard, since the current nest hole is on the backside, facing his house. Soon Steve came out and said we were welcome - but the owl wouldn't come out until about 8pm ... Mary abruptly had her long travel day catch up to her, and took off for bed but two of us went back and enjoyed watching and photographing the owl with Steve. I'd heard and recorded Elf Owls before, but this was my first look at one - they are the smallest owl species in the World, at less than six inches in length and weighing barely over an ounce ... but they are fierce predators all the same.
Plenty of deer in the canyon as usual, but surprisingly no coatis seen this time ... and apparently I just missed a small bear near the Lodge while I was hiking downstream.
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  2 archives
May 19 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
South Fork of Cave Creek #243Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 19 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking3.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Woke up early but delayed my hike up South Fork for a bit - last time I got there too early and the birds weren't that active in the shady canyon until the sun started to hit. I walked around the campground area seeking the sun for awhile instead.
It was still early and I was the first vehicle down the road, I think - since I found a tour guides headset in the middle of the road - not run over, and still working. Probably from an owling trip the night before.
I was the only car in the parking lot - last year there were a dozen or more. One hiker caught up with me - looked like he might be going much farther, a hiker not a birder. Scott's Orioles were singing and being beautiful everywhere, along with many flycatchers, and happily I heard and saw a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher - only my second one ever! As I got back to the lot and continued walking up to the bridge, which is always a good spot, I ran into a large group with their guide ... five or six cars parked haphazardly, blocking the road. Blew past them and kept walking to get back to my peaceful solitude - only to be passed by another tour group - these in two vans, going too fast and kicking up dust ... and stopping in the middle of the road. I'm glad the canyon is less crowded, but not a fan of this new influx of guided tours ... at least they hit and run, not lingering too long in one spot. Had another nice chat with a couple I met down the road as we walked back up after the tours departed (bathing us in road dust again).
Back to camp to load up and get going before it got too hot.
I took a quick detour to the Thick-billed Kingbird nest spot on Cathedral Rock Road. As I was parking and hoping I was in an acceptable spot, far enough off the narrow road and not blocking anything so as to not annoy the residents, a car pulled up next to me and I thought she was going to tell me not to park there - instead, she greeted me with a big smile and said "that Thick-billed is just back there at the top of the Sycamore". I love this about Portal! She mentioned she just lived down the road and I said "lucky you" and asked if it was ok to park where I was. I searched the sycamores for a few minutes but didn't find the bird - thought I might have seen it fly off - but when I turned back around, there was the lady again ... at least 70 years old and walking down the hot dusty road with her cane to come invite me to her house and bird her yard! I hesitated because I really intended to get going, but after I talked with her for a few minutes I accepted her invitation and was so glad I did! She has an amazing property there - an old spanish-style house with thick adobe walls and saltillo tile - dark and cool. She said it was 110 last summer, but never got above 80 in the house even without using her ac - that's how houses need to be built in AZ! We sat together for an hour and had a lovely birding session in her yard - got all three orioles, more Western Tanagers than I've ever seen in one place, and several first-of-year birds for me, and some of the best photos of the trip. She is quite the fun and interesting person and I'm glad I've made friends with another Portal local ... will definitely visit her again. Oh, and I got the Thick-billed Kingbird when I went back to my truck - life bird #327!
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  1 archive
May 18 2022
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 Routes 73
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51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Cave Creek Nature Trail #603Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Hiking3.50 Miles 134 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
134 ft AEG
 
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
West side last week, East side this week - Portal, Sunny Flat, Cave Creek Ranch, George Walker House, Barfoot Park, South Fork.
I arrived at Sunny Flat at about 10am and was shocked to find the campground half-empty ... several sites remained empty all night. This is quite opposite of the past couple of years, and I'm hoping it means things are getting back to normal!
First stop was Cave Creek Ranch, which for once was not worth the price of admission ... really nothing happening there!
Headed up to Paradise next, where I had a very nice chat with the couple who owns the George Walker House ... enjoyed that very much and got a good list in an hour or so, as always. Highlights were the very unexpected Lewis' Woodpecker, Orioles, Juniper Titmouse and a very confiding Arizona Woodpecker.
Continued up, stopping at West Turkey Creek, where I saw a Turkey - but no Mexican Chickadees.
Finally approached Rustler Park, but at the last second decided to turn off and check out Barfoot Park for the first time ... beautiful up there, and unburned. Completely deserted at Barfoot, and it's hard to even imagine the need for all the picnic tables and campsites. The only sign of people I saw anywhere up there were two occupied campsites in the unburned forest before Rustler, near the Barfoot turnoff.
Back down to the campsite, then a nice long walking loop on the nature trail and back up South Fork a ways ... no Trogons.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Sunny Flat Picnic Ground
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Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.
 
May 12 2022
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 Routes 73
 Photos 3,043
 Triplogs 425

51 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Silver Spur Meadow TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Car Camping avatar May 12 2022
cactuscatTriplogs 425
Car Camping6.00 Miles 236 AEG
Car Camping6.00 Miles2 Days         
236 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Camping, hiking and birding in the Western Chiricahua's.
Silver Spur Meadow Trail, Faraway Trail, Pinery Canyon, Pine Canyon.
Birds and critters galore, great weather, not too many people.
_____________________
Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.
 
average hiking speed 1.13 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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