To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Southeast Arizona – Day 4

Eastern slope of the Chiricahua Mountains viewed from Rodeo NM
Eastern slope of the Chiricahua Mountains viewed from Rodeo NM – photo by Greg Miller

 

So long, Chiricahua Mountains. I will see you again soon. Today was Day 4. We started before sunrise and headed out to the desert near Rodeo, NM. Yup. We skipped the State line. Why? Well, we got to see Bendire’s and Crissal Thrashers. After our morning birding, we ate our last meal at the Portal Peak Restaurant. It’s quaint but has character. It’s a small complex of lodge, restaurant, and store. And I love it.

We pulled ourselves away and headed south to Douglas and west to Bisbee for gas and lunch. In the afternoon we hiked for several hours in Hunter Canyon but failed to turn up the reported Rufous-capped Warblers. We did however score several Buff-breasted Flycatchers and a Northern Pygmy-Owl. It was a tough hike in the afternoon heat.

Our next stop was far more relaxing in neighboring Miller Canyon where we sat on bleachers and watched hummingbirds at Beatty’s B&B. Neither Berylline nor White-eared Hummingbirds cooperated. But we easily observed Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Calliope, Broad-tailed, Rufous, and Magnificent. As the sun dipped below the mountains to the West we left Beatty’s and headed to Ash Canyon B&B. And our target hummer–Lucifer Hummingbird–was there as well as Costa’s. Bridled Titmouse, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers also came in to the suet and seed feeders. And 5 Wild Turkeys joined us as sunlight faded.

After dinner we drove up to a higher elevation and listened for Whiskered Screech-Owl. Unfortunately, the birds were silent on this moonlit night. But the skies here are dark, clear, and beautiful. What an awesome place!

The species list will be posted shortly.

 

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