Thursday, December 3—Birding in Portal, Arizona

Tired from all the hiking and driving yesterday, I was late getting out this morning. Today’s intent was to photograph birds and scenery at the Herb Martyr Picnic Area, the John Hands Picnic Area, Cave Creek Ranch, and the Rodriquez house site. If time permitted, I would drive the Paradise Road to Paradise, bird at the George Walker House, and complete the driving loop to Turkey Creek and the Mountain Road bak to Portal. It was COLD (low 20s) and WINDY (15 mph), though the temperature did rise to the high 30s; the wind however, never ceased blowing!  The first stop was at the Cave Creek Nature Trail trailhead. Birds were observed at the beginning of the short hike, but the wind altered their feeding. It was the same story at the two picnic areas.

Along the Cave Creek Nature Trail
On the Cave Creek Nature Trail

Out of desperation, I visited the Cave Creek Ranch where there were scores of birds at the myriad of feeding stations. Regretfully, a Roadrunner kept scaring the birds and I left after an hour or so. From their I returned to the Rodriquez place, and the same species were there as were there on Tuesday afternoon. Nevertheless, a few good shots were made, including a LIFER, a Blue-throated-Mountain-gem Hummingbird.

Acorn Woodpecker
Cactus Wren
Greater Roadrunner
Blue-throated Mountain0-gem Hummingbird
Cous Deer

Back at the motorhome, I cooked a pot of frijoles (pinto beans) that had soaked all day, and downloaded and edited photographs while sipping on a gin and tonic, and was so disappointed in my ability to adequately capture the profound beauty and depth of the hoo doos; some things are not meant to be as I am not a good landscape photographer. Bedtime was at 8 PM

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