Spring fling 2019 field trips

Wed. May 1st | thurs. may 2nd | FRI. May 3rd | Sat. May 4th

 
 

 
TUESDAY APRIL 30, 2019
 

APRIL 30, 4 PM - 6 PM

FREE WELCOME KICK-OFF FIESTA 

At Cochise College Student Center which is next door to the Library and early registration.

Early Bird arrivals are invited to join us Tuesday 4pm – 6pm  at Cochise College Student Center which is next door to the Library and early registration location. Come early and be our guest at our new exclusive festive Kick-Off gathering and enjoy food and refreshments!  Meet and mingle with your fellow Southwest Wings participants, guides and the faces behind “The Greatest Little Birding Festival in the United States!”

 
 
 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

 

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

WA1 Escapule Wash and San Pedro


The San Pedro River in May is a vibrant green ribbon of life, an avian super highway through the desert for millions of migrants. The dense cottonwood/willow forest is alive with bird song as those species that stay to breed set up territories and get down to business. This beginning birder friendly trip will visit Escapule Wash and the San Pedro House. Your guide, Rob Woodward, is especially patient with those new to the pursuit of birding. Driving times will be short and the walking flat. Intermediate and advanced birders will be happy with the array of species as we search for Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, low elevation warblers including Lucy's Warbler, Abert’s Towhee, and many more.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Guide Rob Woodward.

 

WA2 Chasing Rarities

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Join leader and professional guide Ken Blankenship as we have a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeast Arizona. This trips destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and what you folks on the trip need to see. With no pre-planned destination the trip leader will be free to chase after what's available in any direction or location. The trip may include any of the areas covered by our regular trips or may try a new location to see what is available.

Comfortable tennis shoes or light hiking boots and sun protection (hats) are recommended. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 mostly moderate; no steep grades, but expect loose rocks and possible high grass. Guide Ken Blankenship.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

 

WA3 Carr Canyon

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

On this tour of Carr Canyon, we will begin in the lower canyon, where we will look for Scaled and Gambel's Quail, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. We may stop at the Carr House Nature Center to check the feeders. Venturing to the top of Carr Canyon, we may see up to six species of hummingbirds, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Junco, Hepatic Tanager, Scott's Oriole and other mountain and canyon specialties. We will also be on the look-out for some of the characteristic plants, mammals, and reptiles of the Huachuca Mountains. Be prepared for a slow walk covering a mile or two with a 200ft elevation gain and uneven terrain.

Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is provided. Guide Vincent Pinto.

 

WA4 Ash and Miller Canyons

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

On this Canyon tour, we will start in Joe’s neighborhood at the entrance to Miller Canyon, where we will look for Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bell’s Vireo, Hooded Oriole and other lower elevation species. We will then drive up to the end of Miller Canyon Road and hike up the canyon. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000ft elevation gain, uneven terrain with rocks and boulder hopping. A hiking stick is recommended. On our hike we will look for higher elevation species like Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler and 'Mexican' Spotted Owl. After conquering the canyon, we will go to Joe’s house for lunch then make a stop at Ash Canyon B&B for some well earned restful backyard birding with the chance of a Lucifer Hummingbird.

Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Lunch is provided. Guide Joe Woodley

 

WA5 Madera Canyon

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

This trip will take you to Madera Canyon via Box Canyon and the Santa Rita grasslands. We will explore the many habitats this famous birding area has to offer - grassland, riparian, and canyon woodland. Target species include Rivoli's Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Lucy's Warbler, Painted Redstart, Hepatic and Summer Tanagers, Botteri’s Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco and Scott’s Oriole. Lunch is provided.

Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

 

WA6 St. David and Willcox

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

The focus of this trip will be the Benedictine’s Holy Trinity Monastery, a 132-acre site on the east side of the San Pedro River in St. David, Arizona. A popular retreat center, the grounds include a 1.3-mile birding trail, several small ponds, a pecan orchard, mesquite woodland, a working farm, and magnificent cottonwoods. Nesting birds include: Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Mississippi Kite (at its only nesting site in Arizona), Bell’s Vireo, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager. Tropical Kingbird, another local breeder, can usually be found here. Time and weather permitting, we will make a trip to Twin Lakes in Willcox, where we could add a number of shorebirds such as Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes, Least and Baird’s Sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew, and Horned Lark.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 1 very easy. Guide Richard Fray.

WT1 Overnight Santa Cruz Valley

(Thursday, May 2, 2019)   

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

This overnight tour with professional guide Luke Safford will focus on the search for some of Arizona’s most famous specialty birds, among them Montezuma Quail, Tropi Luke Saffordcal and Thick-billed Kingbirds, and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. We begin by heading to Patagonia and Rio Rico, where we will hit prime locations for Gray Hawk, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and other exciting finds. We will check out Peña Blanca Lake, where we hope to see Least Grebe, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Summer Tanager, among others. The next morning we visit Montosa Canyon, where Black-capped and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers are among the targets. We will search grasslands in the area for Botteri’s, Cassin’s, and Rufous-winged Sparrows. We will also spend some time in Madera Canyon which is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. With over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders and we will search for hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, tanagers, a variety of wood warblers and Yellow-eyed Junco. We will be birding on level roads (paved and dirt), paths, dirt trails, and doing some feeder watching. 
Bring your binoculars and do not forget your camera and insect repellent! This trip includes all meals and lodging at the fabulous Amado Territory Inn B&B (see their website). Please indicate if you are doing this trip with someone. Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations, unless single room is requested. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide; Luke Safford

Price is for double occupancy, however, if you are interested in single occupancy please contact Gordon at 520-two six six- 0149.

WT2 Overnight Chiricahua Mountains

6:30 AM  -  4:00 PM

(Thursday, May 2, 2019)

Join guide Rick Taylor, author of Birds of Southeastern Arizona and ABA’s A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona, on this birding adventure. This overnight trip takes you to the beautiful and world-famous Chiricahua Mountains with birding along the way. With an elevation change from 4,000-8,200ft (not much walking at higher elevations), we will be looking for specialties such as Elegant Trogon and Mexican Chickadee, high elevation warblers like Olive and Red-faced Warbler, several flycatchers and Mexican vagrants. Destinations will include an overnight and all meals at the world famous American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Station. We will cover low and high ground, including the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon and Rustler Park.

Please indicate if you are doing this trip with someone. Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations, unless single room is requested. All food, lodging and transportation are included. Bring your binoculars, pocket flashlight, wear sturdy hiking boots, and do not forget your headgear and sunscreen. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rick Taylor.

Price is for double occupancy, please contact Gordon at 520-two six six-0149 to see if single occupancy is available.

7:00 PM  -  9:30 PM  Wednesday

WP1 Owls of the Huachuca Mountains

Owling is one of the most magical of birding adventures. The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Elf Owl, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, we will target these birds and have the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. The guide will be equipped with night vision goggles for better spotting. Owling, like all birding, has no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers. If no owls are seen during this trip, pending room available, participants may join another evening owl trip.

Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Guide Vincent Pinto.

 
thursday, May 2, 2019

TA1 Ramsey Canyon Brown Canyons

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM


On this field trip you will join with Naturalist and Wildlife Biologist Vincent Pinto for an in-depth tour of two spectacular Huachuca Mountains canyons. We will start at Brown Canyon Ranch ponds and then take a hike up at The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Ramsey Canyon is famously known to birders as a reliable place to find many rare and unusual birds that have been recorded there over the years. It is also home to many other southeastern Arizona specialties including Scott’s Oriole, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. Included will be a stop at the Nature Conservancy Book Store to see the many different varieties of hummingbirds attracted to the feeders.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Total walking distance is about 2.5 miles. Guide Vincent Pinto.

 

TA2 Huachuca Specialties

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Spend the day exploring the Huachuca Mountains where we will visit a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties like Elegant Trogon, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Bridled Titmouse, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. Destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons on Fort Huachuca, and Ash Canyon B&B. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a shady spot.

Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Jennie MacFarland

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

 

TA3 Chasing Rarities

6:00 AM  - 3:00 PM

This is a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeast Arizona. This trips destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and what you folks on the trip need to see. With no pre-planned destination the trip leader will be free to chase after what's available in any direction or location. The trip may include any of the areas covered by our regular trips or may try a new location to see what is available.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Richard Fray.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort.

 

TA4 San Pedro River

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy named the San Pedro the first Globally Important Bird Area in the US. This desert river supports the largest and best example of cottonwood/willow riparian forest remaining in the Southwest. In May millions of birds wing their way northward along the lush green corridor. This trip will visit Gray Hawk Nature Center and the San Pedro House feeders. The nature center is a reservation only facility so this is an opportunity to bird a portion of the San Pedro that boasts a property list of 251 species. 
Driving times will be short and the walking flat. Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Crissal Thrasher, Lucy’s Warbler and migrants galore await us under the dense shade of the towering trees.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Sandy Anderson.

TA5 Sonoita-Patagonia Specialties

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM


The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is one of southeastern Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Stops will be made at the Preserve, Las Cienegas NCA, Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia roadside rest stop, and Paton’s Hummingbird Center in search of a wide range of riparian and brushy grassland specialty species, hummingbirds, and possible Mexican vagrants. Search birds include Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Thick-billed and Tropical Kingbirds, Varied Bunting and Rufous-winged Sparrow. Additional stops may be made in the Sonoita grasslands and oak savannah, time permitting. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way.

Lunch is provided. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Closed-toed shoes and headgear are necessary for this adventure. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rob Woodward.

 

TA6  Ash and Miller Canyon

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Join leader and professional guide Ken Blankenship to explore rich pine-oak-sycamore woodland, conifer-dominated montane forest, and a famous feeder station in Southeast Arizona. In Miller Canyon, we will search for specialties such as Arizona Woodpecker, 'Mexican' Spotted Owl, Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted, Dusky-capped and Cordilleran Flycatchers, Red-faced and Grace’s Warblers, Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager and much more. Rufous-capped Warblers have become permanent (albeit scarce) residents in recent years. Be prepared for a +/- 4.5 mile (round trip) slow hike with about 800ft elevation gain over uneven terrain. We will then relax and enjoy our lunch at the famous Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary, where we hope for a variety of hummingbirds: Broad-billed, Anna’s, Rivoli’s, Broad-tailed, Rufous, and possibly Lucifer or others. We may also see Acorn,Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Bridled Titmouse, Curve-billed Thrasher, Scott’s, Hooded and Bullock’s Orioles, and more.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 4 Difficult. Guide Ken Blankenship

TA7 Garden Canyon Butterflies and Birds

8:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Join leader Rich Bailowitz (co-author of several butterfly books as well as Field Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of Arizona and Sonora) as we search for some of the butterflies and dragonflies of the Sierra Vista area. The day will include stops in Escapule Canyon (near the San Pedro River) and in Huachuca Canyon, at various elevations between 4,500 and 6,500ft. A net will be used to catch and release insects for up-close species identification. This trip is best suited for butterfly and dragonfly enthusiasts of all skill levels. Wear good walking shoes, a hat, and bring along water to insure a wonderful adventure.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rich Bailowitz.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

This trip starts at 8:00 am. You get to sleep in !

TP1 Owls

7:00 PM  -  10:00 PM

The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Elf Owl, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, professional bird guide Jennie MacFarland will target these birds with the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders.

Owl trips are conducted only at the spring event and, like all birding, there are no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Guide Jennie MacFarland

 
friday, May 3, 2019

FA1 Escapule Wash

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Escapule Wash is one of our most under birded spots. Spend the day with San Pedro River protection advocate Tricia Gerrodette. The group will bird nearby Escapule Wash a main wash into the San Pedro River to its confluence. The San Pedro House and other nearby low land areas will be included. This a good trip for migrating Warblers, Orioles, Towhees, Blue Grosbeak, Botteri's Sparrow, Ducks, Gray Hawks, Vermilion Flycatchers, Zone Tailed and Gray Hawks. Very casual birding in the river habitat. Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. While looking for birds too (hint: she is not an expert birder), Tricia will talk about the political history of the river, the value of this special desert riparian area, and the complexities of Arizona water law. A visit to Gray Hawk Nature Center is included as well. Tricia has been involved in fighting for preservation of the San Pedro River for more than 20 years and a legal case she is involved in was recently heard at the Arizona Supreme Court. Lunch provided. Difficulty 2, easy. Guide Tricia Gerrodette.

FA2 Huachuca Mountains

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Join professional guide Richard Fray to explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest in southern Arizona. We will search for regional and mountain specialties including Buff-breasted and Cordilleran Flycatchers, Red faced, Olive and Virginia's Warblers, 'Mexican' Spotted Owl, Western and Hepatic Tanager, Arizona, Acorn, Ladder-backed and Gila Woodpeckers, and more.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Best suited for intermediate birders. Guide Richard Fray.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

FA3 Chasing Rarities

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

Join guide Rick Taylor, author of Birds of Southeastern Arizona and ABA’s A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona, on a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeastern Arizona. This trip's destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and the group's desires. With no pre-planned destination Rick will be free to chase after what's available in any direction or location. The trip may include any of the areas covered by our regular trips or may try a new location to see what is available.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Rick Taylor.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

 

FA4 Fort Huachuca

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

A full day within Fort Huachuca where destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons. We will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager. In the grassland areas, we may encounter Loggerhead Shrike, Cassin’s and Western Kingbirds, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, “Lilian’s” Meadowlark, and raptors. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a shady spot.

Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

 

FA5 Ash and Miller Canyons

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

On this Canyon tour, we will start in Joe’s neighborhood at the entrance to Miller Canyon, where we will look for Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bell’s Vireo, Hooded Oriole and other lower elevation species. We will then drive up to the end of Miller Canyon Road and hike up the canyon. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000ft elevation gain, uneven terrain with rocks and boulder hopping. A hiking stick is recommended. On our hike we will look for higher elevation species like Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler and 'Mexican' Spotted Owl. After conquering the canyon, we will go to Joe’s house for lunch then make a stop at Ash Canyon B&B for some well earned restful backyard birding with the chance of a Lucifer Hummingbird.

Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Lunch is provided. Guide Joe Woodley

 

FA6 River to Mountains

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Spend an avian Big Day in Southeast Arizona. This field trip will cover all of the habitats in the San Pedro River Valley and the Huachuca Mountains. The critical habitat of the San Pedro is especially user friendly in May; no mosquitoes or mud, lots of shade and birds galore. Beginning at Escapule Wash we will search for Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell's Vireo, several different orioles, tanagers, thrashers, migrant warblers and other riparian specialties. The cottonwood forest along the river is particularly lush and may yield Gray Hawk, Vermillion Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, Black-headed and Blue Grosbeaks and several species of Empidonax Flycatchers. We will finish our River avian smorgasbord with hummingbirds, Tropical Kingbird and perhaps even a Green Kingfisher at the San Pedro House. Generally flat terrain may be some ankle deep water.
Moving on you’ll head up to the Huachuca Mountains to explore a variety of habitats, including foothill grasslands, sycamore lined canyon riparian woodland and pine forest searching for regional and mountain specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Cassin’s Sparrow, Hepatic Tanager and hummingbird species.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2-3 easy to moderate Guide Vincent Pinto.

FS2 Overnight Chiracahua Mountains

6:30 AM  - 3:00 PM

(Saturday, May 4, 2019)

​Join professional guide Rick Taylor on an overnight trip to the beautiful and world-famous Chiricahua Mountains with birding along the way. With an elevation change from 4,000-8,200ft (not much walking at higher elevations), we will be looking for specialties such as Elegant Trogon and Mexican Chickadee, high elevation warblers like Olive and Red-faced Warblers, several flycatchers and Mexican vagrants. Destinations will include the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Station, the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon, and Rustler Park. This trip includes all meals and lodging at Portal Peak Lodge. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills. Bring your binoculars, pocket flashlight, wear sturdy hiking boots, and do not forget your headgear and sunscreen.

Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rick Taylor

Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations. Price is for double occupancy, please contact Gordon at 520-two six six-0149 to see if single occupancy is available. 

 

FP1 Owls

7:00 PM  -  10:00 PM

The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, professional bird guide Richard Fray will target these birds with the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers.

Owl trips are conducted only at the spring event and, like all birding, there are no guarantees except that we will have a good time.

Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Guide Richard Fray.

  

saturday, May 4, 2019

SA1 Naturalist Saunter

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

Join Naturalist, Bird Guide, & Wilderness Survival Instructor Vincent Pinto for an exciting full-day trip focused mainly on the incredible array of birds found in and near Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (SCSNA).  Your day begins at Raven's Nest, a private, 42-acre Nature Sanctuary near Patagonia. There, Vincent will guide you through Nature trails in a dense Mesquite Woodland abounding in birds.  You'll have an excellent opportunity to see and/or hear: Black Vulture, Gray Hawk, Montezuma Quail, Common Ground Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Broad-billed & other Hummingbird spp., Ladder-backed & Gila Woodpeckers, Vermillion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, other migrating Flycatchers, Bell's Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, Varied Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Botteri's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, Scott's Oriole, & more!  Golden Eagle and other raptors are also a possibility.  We will also keep a keen eye out for wildflowers and other local flora.

We next venture to the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area a 9,000 acre wild park.  We'll have an opportunity to see: Great Blue Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, migrant Ducks, Common Black Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Osprey, a variety of Hummingbirds, Belted Kingfisher, Red-naped Sapsucker, migrating Empids and other Flycatchers, migrating Vireos & Warblers, Bridled Titmouse, a number of Wrens, a wide range of Sparrows, and several Oriole species.  Additionally, we have a great chance to encounter Antelope Jackrabbit, Mountain Lion tracks & sign, and will enjoy the beauty of perennial Sonoita Creek as well as the outflow end of Patagonia Lake.  The walk through the Natural Area will cover approximately 3 miles roundtrip on varying terrain.  Additionally, Vincent is an excellent Ethnobotanist and will teach you about some of the uses of native plants between wildlife sightings and as the day progresses.  All levels of birders and Nature enthusiasts are welcome!

Hiking Difficulty 3, Moderate, Lunch is included. Guide Vincent Pinto

 

SA2 Fort Huachuca

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Arizona’s largest military base, famous for over a century for its Arizona specialties, contains a wide range of habitats from grasslands to pine-oak woodlands. Explore Huachuca Canyon with species like Elegant Trogon, Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Painted Redstart and also visit Garden Canyon where higher elevation species like Greater Pewee and Grace’s, Olive and Red-faced Warblers are all possible. In the grassland areas, we may encounter Loggerhead Shrike, Cassin’s and Western Kingbirds, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, “Lilian’s” Meadowlark, and raptors. The elusive Montezuma Quail might appear anywhere on this trip. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Rugged shoes or light hiking boots, and headgear are recommended.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Matt Brown.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

 

SA3 Hunter Canyon

6:00 AM  -  12:00 noon

Join professional guide Jennie MacFarland on a half day long excursion to see the birdy Hunter Canyon and its Rufous-capped Warblers. Although the 2011 Miller Peak Wilderness fire certainly left its mark, the result is a unique combination of habitats that are home to a nice diversity of bird species. The initial hike is dominated by sun-drenched successional oak-scrub and birds that have moved in to fill this niche include: Crissal Thrasher, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Black-chinned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Scott’s Oriole and more. Higher up, the trail enters a stand of soaring conifers that were spared when the fire 'jumped' the canyon; here we hope to find Montezuma Quail, Band-tailed Pigeon, 'Mountain' Pygmy-Owl, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s and Virginia’s Warblers and more. The pine forest wasn’t spared completely, however, and the scrubby disturbance habitat here has also become home to a resident pair of Rufous-capped Warblers, which we hope will be a well-earned highlight of our hike.

Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult with elevation gain and loose rocks. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

 

SA4 Las Cienegas NCA

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

A visit to what was formerly one of the Southwest’s largest cattle ranches with professional bird guide Richard Fray. This expansive BLM National Conservation Area is home to Pronghorn Antelope and a wide variety of birds. We will visit rolling grasslands, mesquite thickets and cottonwood-lined Cienega Creek, one of the area’s only sources of permanent water, looking for Zone-tailed and Gray hawks, Northern Beardless- Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blackheaded Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Abert’s Towhee, and Cassin’s, Botteri’s, Song, Lark, and Grasshopper Sparrows. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Richard Fray guide

 

SA5 Sonoita Patagonia

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

Join Tropical Birding tour leader Scott Olmstead for a trip to the Patagonia area. Patagonia is one of southeastern Arizona’s best known destinations for riparian birds. Specialties that can be found here include Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Thick-billed Kingbird, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet and Rufous-winged Sparrow. The worthwhile birding sites in Patagonia are numerous and our probable itinerary will include Harshaw Canyon, Patagonia Lake State Park, and the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Our exact itinerary will be at the discretion of the leader, and may vary based on where the target birds are being seen most readily. A short visit (about an hour) to the open grasslands around Sonoita will complement the riparian habitats of Patagonia, and we should see a wide variety of species. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Scott Olmstead.

SA6 San Pedro Sampler

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Flowing north from Mexico through the Sky Island region of Southeastern Arizona the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in the state. This ribbon of life supports 100 species of breeding birds and provides a critical corridor for millions of migrants. In addition to over 350 birds the impressive species list for the river includes 80 mammals, 200 butterflies and over 60 reptiles and amphibians. The cottonwood/willow forest in May is alive with birds including Gray Hawk, many species of flycatchers (Vermilion, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, empids, kingbirds, 3 species of Myiarchus), Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler and possibly Green Kingfisher. 
A short 15-minute drive will bring us to Gray Hawk Nature Center, a private section of the river with great trails and a yard list of 251 species. After lunch we will visit the San Pedro House feeders. Flat hiking, plenty of shade, varied habitats and a naturalist guide guarantee a fun and comfortable day for birders of any age or experience level, beginner to advanced.

Lunch provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Sandy Anderson.

SA7 Carr Canyon

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

Enjoy a spectacular road trip to the top of the Huachuca Mts. We will stop in the lower canyon at the Carr Canyon House Nature Center to check out the feeders. The Carr Canyon Road is the only road into the upper reaches of the Huachuca Range off Fort Huachuca. This scenic narrow, winding road was built at the turn of the century to open up the Carr Reef to gold and silver mining. It was reconstructed in the late 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. At 7,400ft elevation, the spruce/fir forest here offers unique birding opportunities. We will drive to the upper campground in Carr Canyon. Along with the birds, this trip offers some of the area’s most spectacular views, from lichen-covered cliff faces to the San Pedro River valley off in the distance. After exploring the campground, and depending on conditions, we can hike in several directions, either upward toward Carr Peak, or down to Comfort Springs, one of the area’s only water sources. Birds we will be looking for include: Arizona Woodpecker, Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Pygmy Nuthatch, Grace's, Red-faced, Virginia’s and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager and Yellow-eyed Junco. The trail to Comfort Springs is moderately steep and at this elevation, the return can be taxing.

Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate with elevation. This trip is best suited for intermediate birders. Wear comfortable sturdy shoes. Guide Rob Woodward.

  

 
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Donors: Dutch Nagle, Angel Rutherford, John and Marty Hirth, Catherine and Todd Newell

Contact Us

Gordon Lewis can be contacted at admin@swwings.org
Phone: 520-two six six-0149

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Southwest Wings

Birding Festival

Sierra Vista, Arizona

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