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Cibola National Wildlife Refuge - 1 member in 6 triplogs has rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 17 2015
gummo
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 Guides 7
 Photos 10,988
 Triplogs 180

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Cibola National Wildlife RefugeSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Birding avatar Feb 17 2015
gummo
Birding12.00 Miles 4 AEG
Birding12.00 Miles
4 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Five things that I've learned while in Cibola National Wildlife Refuge:

1) The colder that it is in Cibola, the more active the mammals and birds become.

2) The best way to find animals is to put your camera away. :?

3) Cibola NWR attracts more people from other states and Canada than AZ and CA.

4) Cute rhymes with coot.

5) Everyone that visits Cibola NWR is a little weird in some way (except me of course).

So, I went to Cibola again to get to work on some photography. I also went to look for snakes. I didn't find any, tho. Instead, I saw the usual - sandhills, geese, harriers, pintails, coyotes, deer, et al - along with some new faces - tree swallows (thanks Outdoor Lover for the ID), Harris hawk, meadowlark, house finch.

The highlights of the trip were: 1) seeing a carbecue on the I-10. 2) getting within 15ft of a young coyote on the Cornfield Loop Trail. 3) Seeing the buffleheads on the river.

The trip was an okay trip, overall. The sandhill cranes were still there but far from any road. Most of the geese were out and probably heading north. I assume the cranes will not be far behind. I plan to return next week or the week after to focus on more predators and mammals. When I go to Cibola NWR or any area, I try to look for new species that I've not seen or photographed before. At certain places, like Joshua Tree NP, I'm repeatedly seeing the same critters. I assume Cibola will be like that soon.
Flora
Flora
Brittlebush
Culture
Culture
Old Glory
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Feb 01 2015
gummo
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 Guides 7
 Photos 10,988
 Triplogs 180

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Cibola National Wildlife RefugeSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Birding avatar Feb 01 2015
gummo
Birding12.00 Miles 4 AEG
Birding12.00 Miles
4 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On my way to San Diego, I took a side trip to Cibola NWR to check out what's going on. On my way in, the first animal that I see was a coyote, actually it was a pair of coyotes. I miss getting their photos at first, but decided to turn around and was surprised that one of the two coyotes came back onto the road (Note: it could have been another coyote, but I'm assuming that it wasn't). I was surprised that it did not run away because I heard gunshots in the background as it is quail season in Cibola.

After taking a a few shots, I drove around and saw some new pools from the recent rain and spotted my first wood duck. :y: I'm not into ducks, but I've always wanted to see a wood duck because my dad had a stuffed one in our home growing up and thought that it look so much different that other ducks that I've seen, and I did not know anyone who's seen one before.

Driving around, I noticed that the number of sandhill crane dropped significantly. It stated that the population was down 1100 birds, but it seemed a lot more than that. The sandhills were also more skiddish too. The duck and geese population, however, was very high.

Driving around, I saw 8 coyotes and was able to photograph 6 of them. One coyote was black. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to photograph the black coyote. I've never seen a black coyote and 8 coyotes is the most that I've seen in one day.

I saw 3 ospreys and a plethora of raptors. One osprey caught a fish in front of me. I cruised the road by the river and saw a goldeneye and a bufflehead on the river. I also saw a bald eagle for the first time but the photo of it is garbage.

I did a little bit of exploring on my feet and thought that I saw a bobcat, but it was quick and it could have been a house cat or a fox.

The birds, especially the raptors, reminded me that I'm not in Florida anymore and cannot just walk up to them and photograph them. The temperature was 41 degrees when I got there and 78 degrees when I left. I was planning on stopping at Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR afterwards, but I spent too much time at Cibola, and I didn't want to miss the kick-off, which I ended up doing.

So far, 2015 looks like it's going to be a great year for wildlife sightings. It's only been a month and I've seen 10 coyotes and 22 new species with a plethora of burrowing owls, white pelicans, and raptors.
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1 archive
Dec 29 2014
gummo
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 Guides 7
 Photos 10,988
 Triplogs 180

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Cibola National Wildlife RefugeSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Birding avatar Dec 29 2014
gummo
Birding12.00 Miles 4 AEG
Birding12.00 Miles
4 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Name: gummo (party of one)

Mood: glowing

Mission: To stay gold (inspired by the book, The Outsiders), to get a better bobcat photo (mission accomplished - :wlift:), and to take advance of the low gas prices with a mini road trip.

Weather: sunny and high of 60F (jacket optional)

Inspirational Song:
Down By The River by Delta Rae (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bimam2j2gEg)

Confession:
Before joining HAZ, I rarely photographed birds and deer.

Highlights this trip: 1) Finding a bobcat. 2) Finding some burrow owls. 3) Watching the sandhill cranes, although they didn't do much this time around. 4) Seeing 2 Northern Harriers, a new species for me.

Notes from 2014: 1) made $73.64 from recycling. 2) saw 26 new species, if my count is accurate. 3) saw the most kingsnakes, gophersnakes, bobcats, long-nosed snakes, American Kestrels, Rosy-faced lovebirds, and coachwhips. 4) finally saw a tarantula in Joshua Tree NP after 3 years and 40+ visits.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, gas is $1.99/gallon, and with no Monday Night Football to watch, I decided to re-visit Cibola NWR and pay my sandhill cranes another visit and wish them a Happy New Year.

My original plan was to leave early in the AM hours and camp at Cibola to return the next day, but I ran into some difficulties. My body decided it did not want to get up at 5am. I also discovered how spoiled I've become living here. When I felt the 34 degrees on my face and saw frost on my car, I knew that camping wasn't in my future today.

I also noticed a few other things that slowed me down. My tires were low, I forgot to charge my camera batteries, and I need to go grocery shopping. In short, I wanted to leave Phoenix at 5:30am, but ended up leaving at 8:30am.

I got to Cibola around 11:30am, seeing a Northern Harrier and a few vultures and red-tailed hawks along the way. I hit the Auto Loop first where the geese and sandhills were on display. I saw one burrow owl near it's hole and thought that its mate should be around later, so I decided to return later to see if he or she would show up this afternoon.

Foolishly, I really haven't seen that much of the Refuge, even though I've been here multiple times. I have a bad habit of re-visiting the same areas and not seeing new areas, a habit that I hope to break. I drove to Lake Cibola looking for bald eagles along the way. I spotted some movement in the bushes and stopped, and out came a small bobcat with a duck in its mouth. :y:

I knew that I'd eventually see another bobcat here. This was my 3rd bobcat that I've seen here. This fella was small, about the size of a raccoon. In fact, I thought it was a raccoon at first. I did not run from me but looked :o. I think that it did not run away, because it was tired from its recent hunt and was thinking about dropping the duck and making it getaway. We stared at each other for a good 30 seconds. I was able to creep a little closer, but then it took off into the bushes with its sizable meal. So far, I've seen more bobcats this year in Cibola than I have in all of AZ in 20 years.

Lake Cibola was very pretty and quiet. It looks like a great place to fish and for wildlife, but I decided to keep moving. I walked the Island Unit, which I had to share with the work crew. The Island Unit was okay, better than expected and worth exploring in the morning hours.

I cruised the Auto Loop for a 2nd time and saw the other owl. The sun was low, so he or she squinted a lot. I photographed some egrets on my way out, that were part a large group gathered in a selected area. I'm not sure why they were there. The sheep were out grazing, the cotton was picked and bundled, and I had another great trip out there and 166 photos to edit when I get home. :sweat:

This was my best and most productive trip out to Cibola, seeing more wildlife that I haveanticipated. Cibola is one of AZ's best kept secret, and I'll continue to make this one of my regular stops to and from Joshua Tree NP and Anza Borrego.
Named place
Named place
Cibola Lake
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5 archives
Feb 25 2014
gummo
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 Guides 7
 Photos 10,988
 Triplogs 180

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Joshua Tree National Park TrailsInland, CA
Inland, CA
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2014
gummo
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Host: gummo a la carte
Status: slightly sober
Mood: mas o menos
Mission: to hit Joshua Tree NP and Cibola NWR before the sandhill cranes head north.
Goals for this trip: to find and photograph some sidewinders and a bobcat, and to check out some new spots to explore. Also, necesito aprender espanol con mis audiolibros de la bibloteca.
Weather: Sunny- high 70s, low 80s 8)
Song: The Hillside Strangler (https://www.youtube.com/embed/PkcDFl-Db5M)
Highlights: 2 sidewinders, ~10 baby igunanas (no adults), a friendly burrow owl, sandhill cranes, a bobcat, coyote.
Lowlights: I could not sleep the first day, got sick, and cut the trip short. Barker Dam looks awful with the drought and graffiti. Also, JTNP is under construction and much of the southern part is closed.

Day One:
I first explored the Southern section of the park to get my herping fix in. Sadly, much of the southern section is closed off and the park will be starting road construction too. I only found baby snakes and lizards, so I assume the adults don't come out until later there. I then explored the Northern section of Joshua Tree to check out Barker Dam, which looks awful right now, and to hit a new area called Wonderland of Rocks. Wonderland of Rocks looks like a good area, but most of the trail is loose sand, and I was not in the mood to stomp in the sand, so I cut the hike short. The only lizards out in northern area are side-blotched lizards. I did not see any signs of bighorns and the park was surprising more empty than usual.

Day Two:
I was planning on exploring more of the northern section, but I could not sleep and could not shake this headache that haunted me, so I decided to drive to Cibola that night and cut my trip a day short. In Cibola, I photographed my first bobcat while driving. I seen 3 bobcats previously, but they are easily spooked and hard to photograph. The photo is awful but it counts as a completed HAZolution goal, so next year's goal will probably be to get a better bobcat photo.

The sandhill cranes at Cibola were in full force, but they were more shy than last year and fewer of them. Perhaps, some migrated north. I saw a burrow owl on a post that allowed me to basically come within 10ft of it without looking bothered at all and stayed on that post even when I left. Still suffering from a headache, I decided to head home.

End Notes:
Cibola NWR is great, but the only issue that I have with Cibola, is that they are always doing some sort of maintenance, and the rangers there take Cibola a little too seriously. Cibola is worth seeing, but it's small and kind of a dump. It's next to a junkyard (I think) and various farms and rundown houses. I once created a herping area for myself by placing some boards and stuff in an area that thought would attract snakes. Although, I think my little herping area would have made Cibola more desireable to visit and attractive, the rangers disagreed, and unfortunately, discovered it and "cleaned" up the area.
Named place
Named place
Skull Rock
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Feb 16 2014
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Colorado River - Walter's Camp to Squaw Lake, AZ 
Colorado River - Walter's Camp to Squaw Lake, AZ
 
Kayak avatar Feb 16 2014
azbackpackr
Kayak41.94 Miles
Kayak41.94 Miles2 Days   1 Hour   1 Min   
 
1st trip
This was a three day kayak trip down the Lower Colorado River, camping on the shore at boat-in campsites. Since we were putting in at Walter's Camp, a private campground on the California side of the river, we camped there as well. Very good place to start, nice folks there. We left our shuttle vehicle there as well. We had great weather, in the 80's and 90's during the day, and fairly balmy at night as well. We saw bald eagles and all the usual birds, such as herons, egrets, coots, and ducks. At one point, early in the trip, my newly acquired rescue skills came into play, when one of my fellow paddlers found himself out of his boat, hanging onto the side, and drifting downriver. Do you know what a paddle float is? Well, it can save the day, and it sure did in this case. We camped at Carrizo Wash Boat-in Campsites at Picacho State Park and the next night at Ferguson Lake dispersed camping area. Ferguson is pretty marginal, and at first I thought the campsite was not too great, but we made it work for ourselves. We took out at Squaw Lake Campground. We didn't camp there, since it takes so much time to retrieve the shuttle vehicle, etc.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip! We learned a lot about multiday kayaking, too! It was only the second time I had done it, and the first time was in a rental boat.
Flora
Flora
Brittlebush
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Imperial Reservoir 76-100% full 76-100% full
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There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 11 2012
gummo
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 Guides 7
 Photos 10,988
 Triplogs 180

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Cibola National Wildlife RefugeSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Birding avatar Apr 11 2012
gummo
Birding1.00 Miles 4 AEG
Birding1.00 Miles
4 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove out to Cibola NWR to do some birding and herping (for the record: reptiles > brids). Here's the rewind from today:

Morning- bird watching

Mid-morning- nap

Afternoon- flipping rocks/boards (old school herping)

Evening- nap

Afterwards- Drove backroads home

Overall, Cibola is a cool place, but I went at a time where the migratory birds were leaving and the nesting birds haven't arrived yet, which is supposedly April 15th. It's a small area and not a lot of you folks will like it because there's very little hiking, but it's a good stop over to Joshua Tree NP or the coast.

Wildlife seen worth mentioning:

-wild burros
-sidewinders (3)
-glossy snake
-gopher snake (injured on road, didn't have the heart to photograph it)
-a cat???
-sun spiders (2)
-rocky mountain toad
-western banded gecko
-desert iguana (didn't feel like photographing it)
-large scorpion (probably a giant desert haired)
-a few roadrunners
-an osprey
-blue herons
-egrets
-coots
_____________________

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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