After a spectacular lightning show around El Paso, TX, John drove up to Springerville, AZ. Nearby Sipe, a White Mountain nature reserve, was someone's private bit of heaven and is now part of our nation's wild oases. Unlike some similar places, feeders are still being maintained thanks to volunteers. John found it through Birdseye and got the Lewis's Woodpecker and the Calliope Hummingbird there. Near Greer, AZ he saw the Grace's and Red-Faced Warbler again. The Virginia's Warbler is still eluding him and is probably sipping margaritas somewhere south of the border by now. Next year, I would like us to take a trip that targets all the 'regulars' John misses this year. Well, we'll have to see just how long that list is. His found list was now 610.
John drove south to Sunnyside Campground near Portal, AZ, our favorite corner of the world, past that huge pit mine along Highway 191, an unfavorite spot. Camping allows you to taste the full flavor of the environment and you meet such cool people. Driving back out of the South Fork of Cave Creek, John spotted the Arizona Woodpecker, 611.
John drove over the heavily burned Chiracahuas to Onion Saddle. Rustler Park was closed off with gates, but walking entry was permitted. A few Mountain Chickadees flitted around. I drove through the area last fall. There were a few pockets of forest left here and there. Some areas were only ground burns. The Chiracahuas are still worth a visit.
Madera Canyon is a close second to Portal for us. John camped at Bog Springs and hung around Kubo awhile. A lady said she saw coati, gray fox, bear and raccoon there. A guy said he saw black-tailed and tiger rattlesnakes, gila monster and coral snake on the drive in from Green Valley. John missed some possible weird birds but got the Sulfur-Bellied Flycatcher, 612.
Montoso Canyon also had some cool birds reported. John settled for better views and pics of the Varied Bunting and the Nashville Warbler. He says he is on his way home today, August 8th. We will try our local mountains together and John will do a pelagic out of San Diego before we start out on an extended road trip.