Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Birding in Arizona - Day 8, Madera Canyon

Saturday morning I set out for Madera Canyon, a real birding hot-spot.  As you can see from these dawn pictures I was out early again:

I was possibly too early but for a good two hours on the main trail (Old Baldy) I only saw fleeting glimpses of birds.  It's a very steep climb, something like 2,500 feet in 2.2miles and carrying all my kit I was getting quite dispirited, however seeing an Arizona Woodpecker soon got me smiling again:

Another early morning bird was this Black-headed Grosbeak:

I was chuffed with myself when I made it up to Josephine Saddle:

I decided to take the longer trail, Super Trail, back down to the car park, a further 3.5 miles or so, back down.  I was rewarded en route with sightings of Black-throated Gray Warbler and this very confiding Yellow-eyed Junco:

No idea what this bird is:

A view on the trail:

Mexican Jays, one of a small but very vocal group:

A singing House Wren:

And Gilded Flicker:

I encountered a number of groups of Bridled Titmouse on the way down, they are such a close match to our Crested Tit, but not quite:

Some of the views back down to the valley were amazing:

The hiking took a little over five hours, and with the round-trip and stopping for a hot lunch at Lovin' Spoonful (highly recommended for good veggie food in Tucson) I was out for a good 8.5 hours...


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