Friday, February 23, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Christine and I pulled into "the old" parking area at the Coachline Gravel Pit -- or as some are trying to rename, Lake Marana. We climbed the berm only to find no water in the lake. Nonetheless, we decided to hike around the lake going counterclockwise.
Much to our surprise, after getting 3/4 of the way around the dry lake we came to water. The bird of the day was Great Egret -- lots of them -- at least 8, maybe 10. There were also several Double Crested Cormorants, Killdeer, Vermillion Flycatchers, Coots, Mallards, and an assortment of other ducks.
Here are some of the better photos:
|Double Crested Cormorant|
Friday, February 16, 2018
Franciscan Friar Marcos de Niza was the first European to set foot in what is now Arizona. He is credited as the first to take possession of the land now known as the Babacomari Ranch for the King of Spain in 1539, 80 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
The Babacomari Valley, located in the rich savanna rangelands of Southeast Arizona, has been supporting cattle and livestock together with abundant wild game and fish ever since.
The current mission of the Babacomari Ranch is to holistically protect, preserve and enhance the natural resources, historic integrity and esthetic qualities of the Babacomari Ranch while providing a creative and collaborative environment that enhances the quality of life for its landowners, employees and neighbors.
The ranch's boundaries follow those of the original land grant "San Ignacio del Babacomari" issued in 1832 by the Republic of Mexico to the Elias family, still prominent ranchers in Sonora. The ranch is nearly 28,000 acres, ranging from desert to riparian to woodland habitats.
With water flowing through the Babacomari Creek year round, it is full of wildlife.
This was our first visit and we saw the potential for wonderful Spring and Summer birding along the riparian corridor. That's not to say we didn't find anything this wintery trip.
Here just a few of the photos:
|Black Throated Sparrow|
|White Tailed Deer|
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Molino Basin Campground is an excellent birding spot. There usually is flowing water which has created a nice riparian habitat in an otherwise scrub desert. It's only about 15 minutes from our B&B so Christine and I like to hike there when we don't have a lot of time. We did so a couple of days ago, and while not abundantly birdie (it was mid day), we did come across a couple of nice photo ops:
|Red Naped Sapsucker|
Friday, February 9, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area is 45,000 acres northeast of Sonoita. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife. The grasses provide shelter and food for a wide variety of Sparrows and Longspurs. The area is a great place to find four different species of Kingbirds (Western, Cassin's, Tropical, and Thick-billed). Flocks of Meadowlarks -- mostly western but some eastern seem to be everywhere.
There is Cottonwood Pond which attracts waterbirds and flycatchers with an occasional rarity: Black Bellied Whistling Ducks, Rosette Spoonbills ...
Then there is a spring in Empire Gulch that produces a variety of Warblers: Yellow, MacGillivray's, Black and White, Black-throated Grey, Yellow-rumped, Wilson's, Common Yellowthroat, Lucy's, Orange Crowned, and the occasional Northern Waterthrush.
In addition to the avian wildlife, there are Javelinas, Coyotes, Jackrabbits, White Tailed Deer, and Pronghorn -- which the subject of this post.
Las Cienegas is probably the most reliable place to find pronghorn in Southern Arizona. Sometimes they are near highway 83 just north of Sonoita. Sometimes there are in the fields along Curly Horse Road. And sometimes they are in the grasslands along the dirt road through the preserve.
Regardless of how often seen, it is still a delight finding them -- and photographing them. They are truly beautiful animals. Here are some photos from the last week: