Gray Vireo at Mt. Ord


Mt. Ord & Sycamore  Creek 
15 May 2004
Narrated 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
Click on 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 Wash

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 us.  



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 neck".
Black-throated Gray Warbler

Grace's 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 Towhees. 

 Northern Cardinal

Saguaro Forest

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 Yuma.


Sycamore Creek and Mt. Ord, 15 May 2004
# Species
1 Red-tailed Hawk
2 American Kestrel
3 Gambel's Quail
4 Turkey Vulture
5 Rock Pigeon
6 White-winged Dove
7 Mourning Dove
8 Inca Dove
9 Acorn Woodpecker
10 Hairy Woodpecker
11 Olive-sided Flycatcher
12 Gila Woodpecker
13 Western Wood Pewee
14 Bell's Vireo
15 Gray Vireo
16 Plumbeous Vireo
17 Hutton's Vireo
18 Western Scrub Jay
19 Common Raven
20 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
21 Cliff Swallow
22 Barn Swallow
23 Verdin


# Species
24 Bushtit
25 Cactus Wren
26 Bewick's Wren
27 Northern Mockingbird
28 European Starling
29 Phainopepla
30 Yellow-breasted Chat
31 Yellow-rumped Warbler
32 Black-throated Gray Warbler
33 Wilson's Warbler
34 Virginia's Warbler
35 Lucy's Warbler
36 Grace's Warbler
37 Common Yellowthroat
38 Canyon Towhee
39 Black-chinned Sparrow
40 Cardinal
41 Great-tailed Grackle
42 Brown-headed Cowbird
43 House Finch
44 Lesser Goldfinch
45 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler