Monday, May 25, 2009

Madera Canyon

The road to the canyon.
Looking back at Green Valley.
Male Wild Turkey considered rare in the canyon.

Acorn Woodpecker

Family of White Breasted Nuthatches

We had a great day at Madera Canyon which is the number two spot for birding in the USA.
Our day started off well with the arrival of a male wild turkey in full display. Although I have seen wild turkeys before I had never seen a male. Following right behind in the same spot was the Acorn Woodpecker which had taken up a position on a metal pole for about 10 minutes, also a first for us.
We decided to move up the canyon and were surprised by a small area of residential camps and a couple of lodges. As we moved to the upper parking lot we had trouble finding a parking spot. This was the end of the road and the beginning of several trail heads. All trails move steadily upward and we walked out about a mile or so out the Super Trail. It was very quiet with very little bird activity as it was late morning so we decided to head back to the truck, have some lunch and then head back to where all the earlier activity was.
We arrived back at the lower trail and walked out onto the bridge over the stream bed which was dry and immediately saw several Painted Redstarts. They moved around very quickly so no good pictures were possible. Next was an unidentified hummingbird who didn't stick around. At this point Nancy spotted a Rose Breasted Grosbeak which I was able to get a good look at too. Next a Bridled Titmouse did a little dance for us flitting from one place to another so fast that no picture was good enough to show.
We also saw what I believe was a Berwick's Wren but I could be wrong on this one. The best was yet to come when Nancy spotted movement in the trees but could not locate the source. We finally got some great views through the new binoculars of a Blue Grosbeak. Very pretty and a first for us.
We moved further down the road to the parking lot of one of the lodges and this is where we saw the Gray Breasted Jay and the White Breasted Nuthatch. We also saw a Coopers Hawk, White Winged Doves, and Lesser Gold Finches, all in all a really nice trip.

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