Sunday, February 17, 2019

One more day

Yesterday we took lunch and drove down to Madera Canyon to do a bit of birdwatching.     We keep trying to find the Elegant Trogon in the mixed woods there.     S.E. Arizona is the only place to see these magnificent birds and Madera Canyon (about 25 miles south of Tucson) is one of the "big" siting spots.

It was a clear, cool day and there were very few leaves on the trees yet.   We drove down Proctor Rd. (in the Canyon) to it's end and sat quietly and ate lunch.....No birds.    We moved to walk along the beautiful Madera Creek.

Dave has his winter jacket on...and he's still cold!

The wind was stiff, out of the north.    We kept walking and enjoying the clear racing creek and looking up into the bare canopy for birds.

We saw a couple Acorn Woodpeckers and a number of pretty little Grey-Headed Junco but no Elegant Trogon.....

The chilly wind prevailed and we gave up once again.   There are three ways to travel the 25 miles back to Tucson.    We came down on I-19 which is most expeditious but pretty boring.   One is a dirt road through acres of fairly boring mesquite and grasslands and the one we chose was Mission Road.   It took us north through the miles and miles of open pit copper mines and then into the San Xavier Indian Reservation.     The mines were interesting to look at, the machinery used in them was HUGE, unbelievably huge.    No traffic, interesting scenery, good choice.

Mt. Wrightson in the background - an edge of one of the Twin Butte mines in the foreground

Helmet Peak

mine tailings
Today was Daytona 500 Day in Beluga.  We watched and cooked and did laundry in preparation for our move to Catalina State Park in the morning.

I borrowed this photo from the internet to show you what we were looking for -
The Elegant Trogan!   Isn't it beautiful?


  1. I can see why finding one of those beauties in the wild would be such a treat!! At least you had a pretty sunny day even with the chilly temps. I love the bright red berries - you'd think they would draw all the pretty birds!

  2. Elusive little have been tracking one of these for years. Bummer.

  3. It was probably too cold for the Elegant Trogan. They certainly would stand out with all the bare branches this time of year. Have a good move to Catalina!

  4. Ah, the elusive Elegant Trogon! We had good luck a couple of years at Patagonia Lake State Park, and another time at Cave Creek. They're a challenge to find (talk about a needle in a haystack!) but once found, they tend to just sit quietly and don't seem to be camera-shy. So don't give up!
    It looked you had a beautiful day, despite the chilly temps.

  5. That darn bird has eluded me too! Oh well, the search is fun too!

  6. What a cool bird! The mine tailings are huge - it's just amazing that they dug out the ore and made zero efforts to reclaim anything. Makes a person wonder what's in the ground water.

  7. Too bad he is hiding from you again :( The one seen at Patagonia SP is also no longer there as well. Maybe next year, or perhaps it's hanging out at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, who knows!
    Did you pass by the San Xavier cemetery? It is a bit different and photography is not allowed.

  8. We have never seen the Elegant Trojan either Sue...but continue to go and patiently wait just because it is so dang beautiful there. Madera Canyon is always a favorite! Can’t believe all this chilly and often rainy weather we are having in Tucson!