Arizona Trip May 21-28, 2003

    We had a great time in Arizona. This was my second time here and Kelli's first. It was seven degrees above normal during our visit with Tucson reaching 100-102 each day. It was cooler in the mountains. Days started cool at about 65 degrees. Sunny most of the time and never any rain. Yes, it was dry but still got quite hot.
We ended with 150 species, with 10 different hummingbirds. Kelli had over 90 lifers and I managed 13.

    Highlights included very rare or very local summer breeders.
    The best highlights included; Male Flame-colored Tanager in Madera Canyon, just up the hill from the Santa Rita Lodge that we stayed in for the night. There were the usual Elf Owls coming out at dusk 100 feet from our cabin from holes in a utility pole. Up at the parking lot we lucked into a calling Whiskered Screech-Owl in a tree next to the parking lot. We found it using a flashlight and saw it calling. Common Poorwills and Whip-poor-wills were also heard. We saw the eye of the Whip-poor-will in the flashlight beam as well.
We found the family of Black-capped Gnatcatchers at Patagonia Lake and had great looks at the under tail pattern confirming the id's. We also had two Varied Buntings in the same area.
And ten species of hummingbirds!

Immature Black-capped Gnatcatchers Notice the strongly graduated tail

Varied Bunting

Birds and highlights by Itinerary

Day 1

We briefly visited the Sonoran Desert Museum when we arrived in the afternoon, but the heat did us in. Costa's Hummingbirds were near the entrance with the usual Cactus Wren, Gila Woodpeckers, Hooded Oriole and Pyrrhuloxias. Stayed in Tucson for the night.

Costa's Hummingbirds Hooded Oriole

Click Here for Day 2 - Mt Lemmon