Jim Kopitzke and I took an overnight trip to Madera Canyon April 8-9th, where birding was awesome.
8 April 2010:
We stayed at Bog Springs Campground and arrived around dusk, where birding around the campground was even very good right from the start. Jim's hummingbird feeder brought in a male BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD and female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD within minutes of setup.
We then made a sucessful attempt at Santa Rita Lodge and got great looks at the one of the ELF OWLS which was in a tree directly aside the viewing area, it wasn't even in the pole ever when we were watching.
Elf Owls were very vocal thoughout Madera Canyon from Bog Springs Campground and well past Santa Rita Lodge, as we counted 7 different birds calling away, and we ended up having great looks at another one
later in the night as we were owling. There is just a good of a chance of seeing them away from the lodge by listening to them along the roadsides as well. Back at camp, one even called directly above the tent. Other owls included several distant called WHISKERED SCREECH-OWLS and one GREAT HORNED OWL.
9 April 2010:
In the early AM at Bog Springs, several calling DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS started off the morning.
We then headed to the Santa Rita Lodge and the Kubo Bed and Breakfast. We stopped at Santa Rita and enjoyed many birds at the bird feeders, including MEXICAN JAYS, YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS, ACORN WOODPECKERS, etc. A BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was in a nearby tree and several ZONE-TAILED HAWKS flew overhead.
The KUBO B& B was next, where after waiting for an hour and a half for the FLAME-COLORED TANAGER at the feeders, we were able to locate it just a little south down the road, where it was singing continuously thoughout the morning and gave us great looks. What a beautiful bird that is! Many people were able to see it from many angles to study the bird in close views. I actually liked seeing it up in the trees with a more in the wild experience then seeing it visit the feeders, which in our 2.5 hours here, it never did visit the feeders. My favorite bird of the trip! Also enjoyable at the Kubo were MAGNIFICANT, BLACK-CHINNED, RUFOUS, and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, HOODED ORIOLES, HEPATIC TANAGER, PINE SISKIN, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, ACORN WOODPECKERS and many more around the feeders. PAINTED REDSTARTS, one SCOTT'S ORIOLE, and also ZONE-TAILED and COOPERS HAWKS were nearby.
After Kubo, we attemped a try at Black-capped Gnatcatchers and the Rufous-capped Warbler at Florida Canyon without success. A birder who got on the trail just minutes after us saw a Black-capped Gnatcatcher. Hovever on the trail and surrouding area, we had several HAMMONDS and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATHERS, NORTHERN-BEARDLESS TYRANNULET, and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS.
Later in the day before returning to Phoenix, we went up higher into the canyon were we only really saw a few PAINTED REDSTARTS, birds were not active at all up in the higher elevations in the afternoon.
Southeast AZ is always a great trip!