While I really had fun dragging out my first afternoon in Arizona, life has caught up to me. There’s so much I haven’t written about, so instead of a tome, you will hence be treated to more of a barrage of photos. The story is in the captions. Take it or leave it; I don’t get paid to write here.
Note: My notes state: “Note the weird f*cking Quail teenagers”, but I have no idea what I meant by that.
This Thicc oi resonated within me. Live long, my friend.
That night, after dinner, I was also able to hear my lifer Common Poowill. Furthermore, after I got out of the shower that night, Jack ran into the room, whisper-shouting “Elf Owl!” As far as I know, Ryan’s profile picture of me is still me at the elf owl, without a shirt, and a towel around my neck. Fun stuff.
Note: My notes also state: “Jack threw a Bible at my d*ck and I felt God”. I’ll just leave that there.
The day stared with a number of ‘Big Hours’, the first of which I did with Eddie from 3:50 to 4:50 am. Got like 13 species. I then did another one after the sun actually came up with Eddie, Oscar W., and Ryan. My ideal start to any day.
Our first stop was a spot in the foothills, where we saw a flyby Crissal Thrasher, and a few Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays.
We had lunch back at the lodge, where my notes state that I “put beetles on Jack and a dead Cricket on Canyon”. Good stuff for sure.
We spent the afternoon searching for Elegant Trogons in South Fork (in Cave Creek Canyon). We did get a Trogon, and it was epic, but I want to talk about it a little more than I’ve talked about everything else, considering I had a lot to say on it at the time.
The next few captions are taken directly out of my notes from that day. I don’t want to paraphrase:
The day started with a really long drive, but at least we got to sleep in until 5:45. We tried again for better looks and Bendire’s Thrasher, and when that failed, we drove to Culver’s for ice cream and lunch.
Excerpt from my notes: “Clouds here are amazing. Silent storms (just lightning) tons of cumulus clouds”
We ended our day with a search through Ramsey Canyon in pouring rain for Flame-colored Tanager. We missed the Tanager due to the fact that we had to leave before they locked up the parking lot we were in, but not before we heard a tanager call that could have either been the Flame-colored or a Western. We heard it right where the Flame-colored had been seen as well. That one stung a bit.
That night, we ate our dip away at an All You Can Eat Buffet, where I ate more ice cream than anyone probably should. This day was certainly the most ice cream-filled of the trip.
That just about wraps up day 9. We arrived at our hotel in Patagonia pretty early, and I loved the hotel. We had a crazy pool noodle fight, in which multiple pool noodles were destroyed, but we managed to hide the wreckage before anyone important could see. Dinner that night was also excellent – It’s hard to go too wrong with nachos.
An additional highlight of the Paton Center was my lifer Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which was a bit too fast for a photo, but I got nice looks nonetheless. I’d gotten better about chilling out with the camera by this point in the trip (see ‘Elegant Trogon’).
This day consisted only of flights, including mine, out of Tucson, but I felt compelled to acknowledge the day anyway, because it existed and I lived it.