Alice and I had a great time in central Arizona during the first part of May. Although the main purpose of the trip was not birding, we chose a good portion of the activities that we would both enjoy, and where there were birds and other critters that I could see and photograph. Thanks to all who suggested some places to visit and sent me information for birding there.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch. It was excellent, and Great-tailed Grackles and Mallards came right up to us begging for hand-outs. The resort offered a special that we had not known about in advance. On Friday afternoons (except during the summer months), the local wildlife rescue center (Liberty Wildlife) put on an hour-long demonstration with some of their birds, including a Great Horned Owl, a Peregrine Falcon, a beautiful dark rufous-morphed Red-tailed Hawk, a Harris’s Hawk (another beautiful bird), and a Golden Eagle. We were about a foot away from each of these birds.
We made trips to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, AZ and the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. In spite of large crowds (especially at the PDBG), the birds were not too spooked, and I highly recommend both of these places for birding if you are in the area.
In Sedona, we stayed at the Boots & Saddles B&B – a great little place to stay. Small world – the B&B owner used to work with our good friend and across-the-street neighbor here in Stoney Creek, and it was only through a quirk in our conversation that it was discovered. We hiked a few high elevation and mountain trails in Sedona, and I saw a good number of birds in the area.
In total, I saw 46 species of birds, and 27 of them were western species that are new life-birds for me. Some of the better photos, including other animals, are on my web site:
Go to central Arizona web photos