Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trip to Arizona - Woodpeckers

Arizona Woodpecker
Arizona Woodpecker

Gila Woodpecker
Gila Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker

We often look at other bird photographers' posts and see a lot of great pictures coming out of Arizona, so we started thinking we'd go check it out for ourselves some day.  Coincidentally, Mike recently reconnected with a friend and colleague, Greg, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, and learned that he and his wife Mary were avid birdwatchers.  Greg and Mary are some of the nicest people we know, so with the thought of great birding in good company, there was no stopping us from quickly planning a trip.  What a successful trip!  Greg and Mary took us to several top birding spots, and we also ventured out on our own with good results.  During our long weekend there, we covered a lot of territory, which included: Agua Caliente Park, Mount Lemmon, Sabino Canyon and Madera Canyon in the Coronado National Forest, and Sweetwater Wetlands.  None of us could believe the good luck we were having and it made for great laughs. Greg and/or Mary would say "this is where we usually see" and name a bird, and within a few minutes Chris or Mike would be seeing exactly what they named.  Fantastic birdwatching hosts and cooperative birds made for great fun!  We saw more than we hoped for, and it's hard to pick a favorite from all these incredible birds.  There were a few we hoped to see but missed, so we may have Tucson, Arizona, on our itinerary another time.

Here are a few pictures of some woodpeckers we saw.  These were all new to Mike but Chris had seen the acorn woodpecker before in Ojai, California.  We'll post more than woodpeckers in the next few days including the flame-colored tanager.

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