The Penultimate Bird Walk

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

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, January 24, 2011

We met our guide, Howard, at the trailhead at 9:00AM.  There were about fifteen of us, including one guy from Bozeman, MT, a bird hunter who, like us, was a beginner.  We set out over the trail and even before we got going, saw a few species close by.  As we continued, we dropped down to creek level and again saw more birds, as the photos will attest.  After about two hours, we came into the area where the Elegant Trogon had been recently sited.  This is a gorgeous bird and ranges in central Mexico and barely into Arizona and the most southern corner of New Mexico.  Sitings are rare.  Our friend Don, who inspired us to get out and bird more often, has been looking for five or six years without success.  The bird usual roosts at eye-level.  We spread out and keep a keen eye out for him.  Suddenly, our MT hunter friend spotted him!  I panicked, of course, not wanting to miss the opportunity of a bird's lifetime.  I saw him at a distance, but had no chance for a photo.  He moved and moved again, finally roosting within range.  Only the photos can really show how beautiful he is.  It's said that he's been coming to the Patagonia Lake area for about fourteen or fifteen years and is sited regularly.  You might just call it beginner's luck... I would have to agree.  We watched him for nearly half an hour before we finally left.  He came within about twenty feet the group and posed like a professional.  I got several great shots and kept about five.  If you aren't into birding, YET, this should give you the inspiration to give it a try.  The walk took over three hours with birds all around us.  Many of the folks could identify them just by their song or sounds they made.  It has inspired us to go out again tomorrow afternoon after our chores are taken care of.  

After lunch, we drove down to Nogales, Arizona, right on the border.  When the US acquired this area, through the Gadsden Purchase, the original town of Nogales was divided and now exists as two different entities.  The American version is modern and up to date.  The Mexican town is still a sleepy border town with bargains on Mexican made articles for purchase.  A great day, topped off with barbecued pork chops, sauteed mushrooms, rice and Chinese cabbage salad.  Oh that Lynn... is she ever a "good cooker"!
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