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Operation PhotoTrogon Cease #9 – Santa Rita Mountains – Reflections of the Pure World


By Jim Acquire

OPERATION PHOTOTROGON

This weblog sequence chronicles the adventures that Wealthy Brown and I skilled on our quest to seek out and {photograph} the superb birds of Southeast Arizona in Might of 2022.

PATAGONIA LAKE SP

After the Paton Middle for Hummingbirds, we stopped briefly on the close by Patagonia Lake Birding Path.

We had a really pleasant stroll alongside the birding path with views of the native Mexican Geese and plenty of migrating Yellow Warblers.

Mexican Geese
Yellow Warbler
Lucy’s Warbler

Leaving the lake, we continued our journey to our closing vacation spot, Madera Canyon within the Santa Rita mountains. As it’s customary for me we first stopped on the Santa Rita Lodge to see what was feeding on the multitude of hummingbird and seed feeders.

The customary flock of Wild Turkeys was current as all the time as had been quite a few Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Home Finches and Lesser Goldfinch‘s.

Wild Turkeys

As we had been watching the hummingbirds, first a Rivoli‘s hummingbird popped in for a drink after which an Arizona woodpecker flew in to one of many feeders to one of many suet feeders.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird
Arizona Hummingbird

There was not the kind of exercise I used to be used to seeing there and the numbers of birds was low, probably being that it was 2 o’clock within the afternoon. Was not a very sizzling day, however it was fairly gradual on the lodge.

Wealthy inquired inside the shop as to the standing of the elegant trogon‘s that day within the canyon. He was displaying a map which he photographed that confirmed the place the trogons had been seen earlier within the day. We had been cautioned that we weren’t prone to discover them right now within the afternoon. We drove as much as the higher parking space and made plans as to learn how to strategy our goal birds.

Wealthy along with his uber-enthusiasm was anxious to go up the Carrie Nation Path in quest of the trogons. This was actually his most wanted goal chicken. I used to be feeling a bit low on power and with my injured Achilles tendon I used to be not anxious to go climbing up the path at that time limit. So Wealthy went up the path and I hung across the car parking zone for about 45 minutes. I used to be having fun with the numerous Bridled Titmice and Painted Redstarts that had been flitting concerning the shrubs.

Bridled Titmouse
Painted Redstart

All of a sudden I see Mr. RICHARD BROWN virtually operating down the path in the direction of me. He yells out “Check out what I noticed!” I knew what it needed to be, an Elegant Trogon. Certain sufficient Wealthy had not solely discovered, however taken a most wonderful {photograph} of a male Elegant Trogon. He said that he had barely gotten up 1/3 of a mile up the path and will hear them calling, fairly loudly. So after consuming some water we took off up the path, in order that I may additionally discover and {photograph} probably the most elegant trogon within the canyon. We received as much as the realm the place the Outdated Baldy path veers off to the left and the Carrie Nation path continues. There’s a pleasant bench there for folk like myself which may have depleted their oxygen provide getting there, and it was within the shade. What a pleasant spot to sit down again and wait. Effectively the wait didn’t final greater than about 60 seconds because the trogon began calling once more. So over the following 45 minutes we adopted the unusual ventriloquistic sounds, which all the time appeared farther away than they really had been, and took just a few good photos of the Elegant Trogon.

Elegant Trogon – Male

We managed to seek out not solely the male however the quiet feminine Elegant Trogon.

Elegant Trogon – Feminine
Elegant Trogon – Feminine
Elegant Trogon – Male
Elegant Trogon – Male

And so the goal of operation PhotoTrogon was in hand.

SUCCESS!

After a excessive 5 and a few very large smiles we walked again in the direction of the automotive and at this level it look like the rest could be anti-climatic.

However then I remembered there was a nesting Elf Owl proper throughout the road from the Santa Rita Lodge. So we drove again right down to the car parking zone a bit earlier than 7:00 pm discovering one other half dozen birders excitedly ready for the pending present from the feminine Elf Owl.

Ready for the Elf Owl to Present

As we chatted, the house owners of the property got here out and invited us to face up within the space that was subsequent to the pole the place the nest was. We had been knowledgeable that this Elf Owl pair had been there for not less than 10 years and that she was not bothered in any respect by the chatter of birders standing beneath her home. This was a nightly prevalence on the spot and the proprietor felt that this manner birders received their Elf Owl and the entire neighboring Elf Owls weren’t bothered.

Nearly on cue the Elf Owl appeared on the gap and sat there for about 2 1/2 minutes all of the whereas images cameras had been going click on, click on, click on.

Elf Owl

I inquired about the opportunity of Whiskered Screech-Owl and Mexican Whip-poor-will and it was steered that we go to the amphitheater car parking zone simply up the highway for the screech owl. He laughed after I requested concerning the Whip-poor-will as a result of he stated you may’t miss all of them the way in which up and down the canyon. So we be a part of one other couple and drove as much as the amphitheater car parking zone quietly closed our doorways and virtually instantly the toot-toot-toot name of the Whiskered Screech-Owl got here from one facet of the highway adopted shortly there after by a second owl on the alternative facet of the car parking zone. On the similar time we may hear a Mexican Whip-poor-will begin up. We determined to drive the remainder of the way in which as much as the highest of the parking space at Mount Wrightson to see if the rest appeared and certain sufficient, there was in all probability 4 or 5 Mexican Whip-poor-wills calling from across the car parking zone.

So, with emotions of full satisfaction that the journey had been an excellent success, we headed again to our greatest western resort room in Inexperienced Valley uncertain about the place to go subsequent over the following two days. At this level virtually each one among our goal birds had been not solely seen, but additionally photographed and now we had been beginning to search for needles in a haystack so to talk.

Subsequent cease unknown.

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