Greetings from sunny Arizona.
Denny and Annie having lunch in front of our casita.
It hasn’t been quite so sunny and warm for a few days but now it’s warming up again and should be in the high 60’s-low 70’s for the next week.
We’ve been here a little over a week now. Let me tell you about the place we are staying. You could call it a kind of farm as there are goats, chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys along with a few dogs and cats.
There are 5 casitas on the property some of which seem to be a work in progress. The insides are very nice while the outsides lack in glamour.
We were supplied with both chicken and duck eggs on arrival. The owner also makes beautiful wooden furniture, cutting boards, lazy susans, etc out of mesquite with inlaid turquoise and sometimes river rocks.
She has a gallery in Tubac. Tubac is an arts community with lots of galleries and restaurants. We are just south of it in Tumacacori. We are situated on a road that we have birded on many times and surprisingly although the road has lots of birds they don’t seem to make their way to our casita where we have put up bird feeders. We hope they will eventually discover us. We are also right around the corner from the Anza trail along the Santa Cruz river which flows north from Mexico.
Also next to us is the Tumacacori Mission which is a National Historic site. We are about 20 minutes south of Green Valley where we usually stay and about the same distance north of Nogales, Mexico. The WiFi is pretty slow here although our neighbor told us of a spot by the pool that seems to work well. We’ll check that out so I can send out this blog. That didn’t work so I’m now at the library.
We got here on a Friday and spent a lot of time stocking our kitchen and getting organized. On Sunday we watched the Superbowl with our friend Lillian which was great to see the Pats win again. On Tuesday we went on our regular Tubac bird walk. It was a bit chilly and cloudy so not a lot of people came but it was nice to reconnect with some old friends and visit with them after at the deli.
Wednesday was the start of the Tubac Arts Festival but it was very cold so we didn’t bother. It runs through the weekend. The streets are lined with vendors of food and art and it’s fun to walk around. We had to go to Green Valley for a few things and it gradually warmed up and the sun came out so we decided to make a quick trip to Madera Canyon. A White-throated Thrush has been reported there. It is a first for Arizona and although we had seen one a few years ago in Panama this would be a first for the US. So we were fortunate to run into other birders who told us where to look and we got good looks at it. Then we went up the canyon to where the Elegant Trogon had been seen. No luck there and it started to snow and sleet so we gave up on that one.
The next day was a little warmer so we spent the afternoon in Tubac checking out all the artwork. Didn’t buy anything though.
There is supposed to be a group who play pickleball in Tubac so on Friday morning we went over there to check it out and no one was playing. We decided instead to take a picnic lunch up to Madera Canyon because it was such a beautiful day finally. This time we started at Kubo which is the last B & B near the top of the canyon drive. It’s always been one of our favorite places in Madera and Cora, the owner, keeps all the feeders well stocked. It even has IBA standing (Important Bird Area). There were lots of Bridled Titmice, some Mexican Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, both Dark-eyed and Yellow-eyed Juncos and even a Magnificent Hummingbird.
Then we moved down to Santa Rita where the Turkeys were out with the Lesser Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, more Acorn Woodpeckers, an Arizona Woodpecker, a House Wren, Bewick Wren and a Blue-throated Hummingbird. Walking down to the Madera picnic grounds we found a Painted Redstart and a Red-naped Sapsucker. Still no Trogon at the picnic grounds but we ran into a birder who knew where to find a Whiskered Screech Owl down the trail. We followed him down to it and Denny got some pictures. It is hard to understand how anyone discovered it as it blends in so well with the tree it is on. Unless it is pointed out to you you’d probably never see it. We were fortunate to have it shown to us. See if you can find it in the picture.
While I was walking along a trail by myself I came within 6 feet of this girl and she didn’t seem to care. It was a great way to top off a beautiful day.
Our neighbors in the casita are from Montana and they brought their 2 dogs. They go out walking on the Anza trail every morning and invited me to join them.
We go about 3 miles. It’s beautiful along the river. This could become a daily habit.
That’s it for now. Will check in again soon.