Hassayampa and Sherwood Heights

Vermilion Flycatcher, male

We had not been to Hassayampa River Preserve for 4 years so we went one day last week. I was hoping for some new birds, of course, as I know there are some reported there that I’ve never seen. Luck was not with me. We heard a ton of birds but just didn’t see many. It’s pretty dense there with a lot of very tall trees so the hiding is good. The first time we went all I saw were Vermilion Flycatchers and that’s pretty much all we saw this time, too. They are beautiful, though. Here are the posts I made back in 2013 where you can get a better idea of what the preserve looks like (1, 2, 3). This trip was photo-lite.

Palm Lake

Vermilion Flycatcher, female

Hassayampa has been a Nature Conservancy preserve for over 25 years and will soon become part of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. Their parks are very well-maintained so I imagine some improvements will be occurring soon to this former ranch. It will become part of the new Vulture Mountains Recreation Area. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

Mistletoe clumps in Mesquite

So…I never post only 4 photos! A couple days before I left on my Indiana trip, I had heard about a very rare bird for our area in a neighborhood not too far from me, on the border of Phoenix and Scottsdale. The bird also visited the same yard last year at just about this time, just for a couple weeks. He has now left on his migration again but I was able to get some shots before he left.

Orchard Oriole, male

He was very flighty and spent a lot of time deep in the homeowner’s mesquite tree eating from her chuparosa (the reddish flowers). I was lucky to get one clear shot…and he was a lifer!

I also spotted this Gila Woodpecker couple checking out prime Scottsdale real estate. They usually nest in saguaros.

This was in the homeowner’s yard. She makes metal and clay wildlife sculptures.

Black Canyon City

Sag Flower

Sag Distance

Black Canyon City is about 50 miles from our house in central Phoenix. Today I felt like seeing something different and had hopes I would find some lifer birds (nope). I’ve never actually gone into the town before. It’s about 5° cooler there. If I had gone about 15 miles further north to Cordes Junction, it would have been about 10° cooler. Maybe next time.

Vermilion FlycatchersVermilion Flycatchers, female and male

Vermilion FVermilion Flycatcher, female

CW BCCCactus Wren

CW NestCactus Wren Nest (I think)

I do think I saw a lifer, a Summer Tanager, a bright rosy-red bird, but I didn’t get a photo and only got a brief look so I’m not positive. It flew onto private property so I couldn’t pursue it.

BCT Sign

BCC6

BCC5

BCC4

BCC 3

BCC CarMy trusty companion of 9 years

It’s a really pretty area. Just south of Black Canyon City on I-17 is Rock Springs, a small touristy area that is very popular because of its pies…Rock Springs Cafe and General Store.

RS Sign

RS

Lamps BCC

RSC Sign

So I brought one home…

Pie 2Chocolate Cream Pie

If you don’t see me around here for several more days, this is the reason…lack of photos due to this:

Weather 10 Day