Costa's Hummingbird (Tom Taylor)
Belted Kingfisher (Tom Taylor)
January 15-18, 2016 - Phoenix and Maricopa County. Eighteen people joined us for our trip. On Friday, we drove the Apache Trail, which is a scenic byway from Roosevelt Lake to Apache Junction. Saturday morning we all went out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where we had great looks at multiple Northern Cardinals, resplendant in their breeding plumage. We also had a Wilson's Snipe, a Black Phoebe and a Says Phoebe fighting over a perch, Gila Woodpeckers, Rock Wren, Inca Doves, among others. We had a picnic lunch under the trees and we headed to Granite Reef and Coon's Bluff. We saw Vermilion Flycatchers, Audubon's Warbler, a fly-by of Buffleheads, Ring-Necked Ducks, Black-crowned Night-Herons and Great Egrets. From there we went to Coon's Bluff where we had a fantastic sighting of two male Belted Kingfishers fighting over territory. This display lasted quite a while and we all enjoyed it. We had a group dinner at the Long Horn Steakhouse in Mesa. Sunday morning we went to Gilbert's Water Ranch, which is a favorite place in Arizona. We saw Osprey, Canada Geese, Long-billed Dowitchers, lots of Green Herons, lots of Black-Crowned Night-Herons, a beautiful male Northern Harrier, Anna's Hummingbird, lots of Abert's Towhees, Gambel's Quail, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Herons, lots of Verdin. We then went to Tres Rios where we had huge Cormorant and Great Blue Heron rookeries, lots of White Pelicans, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, March Wrens, a kettle of Black Vultures, among others. Sunday morning we went to Higley Ponds where we had Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Gadwals, Green-winged Teals, song sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers. Our next stop was Veteran's Oasis Park, where we saw our only Costa Hummingbird, with a fastastic blue gorget, as well as immature Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Antelope Jack Rabbit. Our last stop of the trip was Zanjero Park, where we had a good look at a Burrowing Owl. We ended our trip there and headed back to El Paso. Special thanks to Fay and Kathy Millett for their help. We had people from New Mexico, Arizona and Texas on the trip and a good time was had by all.
El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society