Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the Huachucas to the Chiricahuas

After some morning birding along the San Pedro River, we decided to make our way over to Portal with a stop in Wilcox to look for shorebirds. As we pulled up to Lake Cochise, I was quite surprised that this was a shorebird hotspot. As we rounded the first corner, we saw hundreds of shorebirds. The flock was mostly made up of American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, and Wilson's Phalaropes. There were smaller numbers of many other shorebirds including, Red-necked Phalarope, Baird's, Least, and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Long-billed Dowitchers.

A shot of the flock at Wilcox.

Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet

American Avocet

Our first stop in the Chiricahuas was at Cave Creek Canyon's South Fork. Our target was a lifer Elegant Trogon for me. As we hiked down the canyon, we thought we might be out of luck since it was midday and there was very little singing. After about 30 minutes, we finally heard one singing. It took us a few minutes to find the bird but I got decent looks and was happy to add this beautiful bird to my lifer list! We decided to try to find the bird again so that we could get some photos of it. We followed it back down the trail towards our car and finally relocated it singing in the open about 30 feet in front of us. It allowed us to take several pictures before it flew away. We could still hear it singing when we got back to the car but we were never able to find it again.

Elegant Trogon

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