Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birding in Arizona - Day 4, Mingus Mountain

Sedona is famous for its red rock and is a real tourist spot in Arizona.  The scenery is indeed quite spectacular:













A potential birding highlight of our whole trip was Mingus Mountain.  We set-off early to arrive just after dawn (which is at 05:20), making it out around first light.

The drive up was pleasant, passing through some rickety old towns that try and pass themselves off as tourist locations, before reaching the top of the mountain.

Birds were in fact surprisingly sparse, perhaps because of the hour and indeed the elevation.  We did see this sub-species of the Dark-eyed Junco:

More flowering cacti:

Probably my favourite bird picture of the holiday thus far, a Wilson's Warbler:

And very drably plumaged Western Bluebirds:






























It took us a while an reference to the guidebook to work out what species they were:













Spotted Towhee sang as the day warmed:














The view from the top is magnificent, it's very hard to try and capture the scale of the landscape:















Gray Flycatcher provided one lifer:


As did one of the four target species of warbler, though the only we saw, Grace's Warbler:













Mingus Mountain didn't live up to expectations.  We also didn't enjoy finding a partly buried dog that had been disturbed by the Coyotes.  The smell was nasty.  So we decided to head back down to Plan B, Red Rock State Park close to Sedona.

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