Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Morse Canyon, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona

Morse Canyon is on the less frequented east side of the Chiricahua Mountains. The "Prize" for the past month has been three Crescent-chested Warblers. For the first week or two they were providing good looks near the end of the Turkey Creek Road where the trailhead starts.  The last couple of weeks they have been seen more often about a half mile up the trail. It appeared from my perspective that they had built a nest high up in a Ponderosa Pine tree -- maybe 60 feet off the ground. The trail gets steep and the tree is in the canyon floor so you could get a better view further up the switchback -- though a bit further away. Occasionally, they would fly down to the trail just to tease birders/photographers. But while I was there they didn't stay close long enough to get a clear and in-focus photo.

There were always people around looking at or looking for this rare bird. And jockeying around on a  steep uphill trail -- especially for someone with balance issues was a bit challenging. 

The Crescent-chested Warbler has been reported in Arizona less than 10 times. So it is quite special in that regard. But like many warblers, they very attractive.

Although you might be at the right place, at the right time (Morse Canyon early morning) --- it might not be exactly the right place or exactly the right time. Early on in my "birding career" I noticed something. Maybe a brilliant grasp of the obvious, but Birds Have Wings. Yes they do. And, they often use them. Of course, this has all been during the Pandemic, so the birds may have simply been practicing "social distancing."

Anyway, while looking for the C-C Warbler, there were a few other birds around:

Crescent-chested Warbler

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Gilded Flicker

Montezuma Quail

Red-faced Warbler

Western Tanager

Cordilleran Flycatcher

White-tailed Fawn

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