The Bird Hike

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, January 22, 2011

We left camp this morning and met Don at his home in Green Valley.  Our intent was to go birding in the Santa Rita Mountains at a popular area called Madera Canyon.  There were several folks up there when we arrived, but the birds were cooperative.  We stopped part way up near the Santa Rita Lodge where they have an area dedicated to bird feeders.  The Mexican Jays were numerous and amazingly quiet.  I never heard a single "peep" out of any of them.  The finches arrived soon after the Jays departed, almost as if they had it planned that way.  We stayed there for an hour or so and then headed up near the end of the road to hike.  The "Scenic" Trail runs along the mountain side for nearly two miles, primarily downhill.  The surface runs from smooth sand to serious rockage.  Had to be attentive there, in spite of keeping and ear and eyeball out for birds or other local or visiting fauna.  We only saw a couple of birds until we neared the end by the creek.  A few showed up, including an Arizona Woodpecker and a Phainopepla, which is a deeply black bird, more slender and a bit larger than the sparrow.  Had no luck in catching a picture of either, but had a great time watching Lynn and Don "on watch" to see what they could spot.  My camera batteries went dead just at the end of the trail, so I didn't really miss any photo opportunities.  The return hike was up the steep paved road.  It's good to be in adequate condition to be able to negotiate such and recover well.  A warning to you younger folks:  STAY in shape.  It's easier than GETTING back in shape.  I know.  Been there, still have the scars. 

We drove then to the Boar's Head Deli in Green Valley for a late lunch.  I had a sandwich with liverwurst and Havarti cheese and Lynn a Chicken Caesar Salad with a homemade blueberry scone.  Don had a wrap of some sort and he and I had a fresh fruit salad as a "side".  We're back in camp now and will be leaving tomorrow, south to Patagonia Lake State Campground.  Another day in paradise! 

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