Ord & Sycamore Creek
15 May 2004
by Henry Detwiler
Madeline Bauer, Ed Snyder, and Suzanne & I spent a leisurely day in the
canyons and mountains northeast of Phoenix.
species -- bird list is at the bottom of the page
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
Suzanne and I picked up Madeline and Ed in north
Phoenix, and then headed east to the Beeline Highway. Our
first stop was Mesquite Wash, which was very birdy so early in the
morning. Some of the most vocal and visible birds were Bell's
Vireos, Lucy's Warblers, Phainopepla, and Lesser
Goldfinches. Some of the birds remained well-hidden, in
contrast to the butterflies, which were everywhere!
Ed & Madeline
From there we headed farther north to Sunflower and
another stretch of Sycamore Creek. We tested out our water
wings as we forded the creek twice. Birds included more Bell's
Vireos, both Ash-throated & Brown-crested Flycatchers, and
Western Flycatchers. Too many ATVs made for lots of noise, so
we headed to Mt. Ord.
Lucy's Warbler at Mesquite
On the way up the mountain we stopped at several
points in the hillside scrub. One of our targets, the
Black-chinned Sparrow, was most cooperative and hopped up to investigate
A couple of Gray Vireos were even more
amenable, coming to within several feet of us. The plain features of
these birds was immediately apparent.
|We parked at the corral at the tree line and walked along the old
gravel road. Even though it was past noon, the birds were
out in force. We turned up Plumbeous Vireos, Black-throated
Gray and Grace's
Warblers, Bewick's Wrens, and lots of Bushtits. The Grace's
were tough to spot, leading to a fine case of "warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
A bumpy ride up the rocky road netted us more fine species,
including Western Wood Pewee, Hairy Woodpecker, and eventually
several Virginia's Warblers.
Back down in the valley again, we stopped at several more areas
along Sycamore Creek. At one spot I called in a beautiful
Rufous-crowned Sparrow. In another spot we walked along
towering Saguaros and mesquites to pick up Gila Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals,
Cactus Wrens, and Madeline's prize, a pair of Canyon
All too soon our afternoon drew to an end, so we dropped off Ed
and Madeline at their motel, and headed back on the long road to