Madera Canyon, March 2015

Mary Ann and I went to Madera Canyon. This post has a description and some pictures.

We left on Thursday about noon and got there around 2. We stayed at the Santa Rita Lodge Casita #10. It was good accommodations with a nice patio that overlooked the Madera creek.

Madera Canyon is a beautiful spot that is famous for birding. They say it is “rated the third best birding destination in the United States”. I wonder where #1 and #2 are?

When we got there a Painted Redstart showed up on a tree by the patio. He was very close and not shy, so I got some good photos. It was worth the trip just for that!

We hiked down Madera Creek on the first day. It was a beautiful hike with lots of birds.

The next day we hiked the Carrie Nation Trail. There is some old abandoned mining equipment at the end of the trail. The hike is about 5 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 2000 ft. It was a little confusing following the trail. For future reference: a hundred yards or so after the first creek crossing there is a large metal sign with arrows pointing to Agua Caliente and Josephine Saddle. The confusing part for us was that it wasn’t obvious that the trail split off there. But if you continue straight you are on the Carrie Nation Trail.

The reason we wanted to go on that trail is because we saw the Elegant Trogon there on a previous trip. There were no reports of the Trogon, and we didn’t see it.

I met Jim Burns on Friday. I thought I recognized the name, but couldn’t remember from where. He gave me his card, and when I got home and looked at his site, I remembered he used to have a column in the Arizona Republic. He came to Madera Canyon to photograph moths and butterflies. He had some really nice equipment with a Canon Mark II 1D body, and a 600mm lens with a multiplier, and a heavy duty tripod with a Wimberly mount. He has some incredible photographs at his site: www.jimburnsphotos.com.

On the way home on Friday we stopped at our restaurant in Maricopa (Native Bar and Grill) for dinner. It was packed with people waiting for seats. The remodel has really helped business!

As usual, we saw a lot more birds than there are pictures. For Hummingbirds, we saw 5 species: Anna’s, Rufous, Magnificent, Black-chinned, and Broad-billed.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

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