|Explore North America United States Arizona Tucson|
In late February, I took a six day road trip to southern Arizona, primarily to photograph migratory birds which winter there.
I traveled in both directions on Saturday so I was able to miss the heavy traffic in Las Vegas and Phoenix but I had my own weekend based problems more of which later.
Most of my days were spent going from place-to-place where migratory birds congregate in and around Tucson. On two of the days, I took longer side trips visiting Patagonia Lake State Park, Buenos Aeries National Wildlife Refuge, Wilcox National Wildlife Refuge, Sasabe and Nogales, AZ and the San Xavier del Bac mission church.
During my photographic forays, I saw dozens of bird species, many of which I had never seen before. In addition, surprising to me for southern Arizona, I saw a herd of Pronghorn Antelope. I also saw ground squirrels, long-eared jackrabbits, cotton tails, coyotes, and javelinas
On the way home, I made a short stop in Wickenburg, AZ. This is an old pioneer town and theyve made an effort to keep some of the original buildings in good repair. I ate lunch in the Bar-7 Restaurant which is located in an old saloon and had an excellent turkey and green chili sandwich on grilled sourdough.
The weekend I drove home was race weekend in Las Vegas so I thought Id be clever and take the Lake Mead bypass, both for some good scenery and to avoid the freeway traffic through and north of Las Vegas. Big mistake! For those of you who have not been on it, the lake shore road is narrow, two lanes, and very twisty and curvy. There are very few places on it that are safe to pass. Once I got past the Lake Las Vegas cut-off and was committed to the route, I got behind a very large group of bicyclers on some sort of an organized ride. After many miles of 10-15 mph, they finally turned off.
Then, once I got back onto the freeway, I wound up in a full-closure of I-15 for a traffic accident which I probably would have missed had I just used the freeway in the first place. 2.5 hours later, it finally opened and I made it home without further incident.
It was a good trip, the weather was cooperative for most of the time and Im ready to go again. I hope you enjoy the photographic record of this trip.
My usual caution is that I am not a birder. I have tried my best to identify each species correctly but I will be grateful for corrections from those more knowledgable than I.
article published 3/5/2010