Spring Is Here!
I remained in the Tucson area through March and into mid-April. The weather continued to be pleasant – cool enough at night and comfortably warm during the day. I am able to hike on some nearby trails that aren’t busy on weekdays. Other than that, I stay at home and only go to the grocery store as needed.
With the arrival of spring, the birds are returning, butterflies are appearing and other animal life is moving about. Southeast Arizona is a birder’s paradise and there are a couple specific birds I am looking for – as well as all the other beautiful species that are commonly seen.
Higher resolution photos may be viewed in the Flickr Album Arizona Spring 2020
The hummingbirds are plentiful, I need to fill the nectar feeder a couple times per day. I captured this sequence of photos which I think are so cute! I had to give them some funny (corny?) captions, haha!
Usually the Rufous is on the attack, not this time.
I love watching the hummers! There are quite a few other birds around, as well as other creatures.
These Black-tailed Jack Rabbits are pretty common. Usually I only see their tail as they lope away. They don’t hop like a cottontail, but have this funny looking way of walking. One day I was on the side of the road looking at some gnatcatchers. I guess this guy came out of the trees and then saw me and just sat there. I noticed him just as I started to walk on. He posed for a couple minutes so I was able to get a pretty good photo of him. The photo is uncropped. He is the largest jack rabbit I have seen and look at the size of those ears!
The most numerous hummingbird species around was the Broad-billed Hummingbird. I would see them all along the trail. It’s fun to see them out in natural habitat.
The most special bird I wanted to see and hoped to get some good photos of was the Rufous-capped Warbler. They are rare in Arizona, with their primary range being in Mexico and south through Central America. I did see a pair of them three times and one day was able to get these photos. They forage low in brushy areas and will often stay pretty close by. They are so lovely and it was a special treat to see them.
And a few more photos.
I have been on the lookout for snakes for a while now. I finally saw the first one of the year; it was non-venemous. It was in some high grass so I was glad it had its head up in the air so I saw it. I saw one of these last spring also.
On April 15th I drove to Portal, AZ and Cave Creek Canyon. This is where I spent part of November, December and January as a volunteer host in the visitor center. The visitor center is closed to the public during this pandemic. However it is being staffed a few hours per day to answer phone calls, etc. So I’ll be there at least through May. I’ll have a full hook up site so will be able to run my air conditioner if needed. And it will be nice to have a place where I can settle in for a while until things improve.
I hope you all remain healthy and are staying safe during this time.
All wonderful photos as usual. You have a greater variety of birds there it seems. Have never seen a broad billed hummingbird at our feeder. And where we are in the park we mostly see quail and dove, Gila woodpeckers, an occasional thrasher or cactus wren—and Ladderback woodpeckers. All the more common birds…still fun but I want to spend some time in Southeast Arizona.
Thanks Martha! You should come to the Chiricahuas! See the trogons and so many other birds.
I was thrilled to see and photograph the Elegant Trogon during a visit to Patagonia State Park a few years ago. Southern Arizona is really pretty. Enjoy!
Thanks Ingrid! The trogons have arrived here and I love seeing them! Glad you were able to see them in Patagonia.
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We have considered it. We’re leaving here this coming week as it is getting into 90s. What is the weather there and are there dump stations available.
In Portal forecast is for 80 to 85 high over the next week. But it will be cooler up in the canyon. Not much here for facilities. Best option for dump station would probably be to go stay a night at one of the RV parks in Rodeo. As far as I know the nearest dump station is in Douglas, about 60 miles away. All the campgrounds are closed but there are dispersed camping sites up in the canyon. I haven’t driven up there yet so don’t know how many people are up there. If you are interested I would be glad to scope it out for you.
It would be great to see you and Ben!
It would be interesting to know what the boondocking sites are like if you feel like checking it out. Not sure I’m crazy about a 120 mile round trip to a dump station. We may just head north–even northern Arizona, but I think so much is still shut down. It’s better to have first hand knowledge of a place to go.
Yes, I’ll be glad to check it out. I’ll email you with info.