Mt. Ord, July 14 2016

Dave and I went to Mt. Ord. This post has some details on the trip. It’s about an hour and 15 minute drive from home to Mt. Ord. We got there at about 8:30 am. We drove up highway 87 (towards Payson), and turned off at Forest Road 626. There was a sign on highway 87 for Mt. Ord. FR1688 is about three┬ámiles or so from the highway. There were reports of Red Crossbills at the junction of FR626 and FR1688. We stopped there and looked around but didn’t see any crossbills. FR626 goes another 4 miles almost to the top of Mt. Ord (I think it actually turns into FR27, but we didn’t see any signs for FR27). The last half mile or so of the road is closed to the public, but you can hike up it. There are a bunch of antennas at the top, and a watchtower.

Dave and I climbed the watchtower. There was a sign at the bottom saying they don’t recommend going up, and the forest service isn’t liable if you do. We decided that meant that they weren’t saying we weren’t allowed to go up ­čÖé . When we got to the top we found out that the watch tower is manned. We talked to the guy working at the top and he let us go around the deck of the tower, which is a 360 degree deck. The view was awesome from the top. We had a great view of the Tonto National Forest, and many lakes (we counted 5) from the Salt and Verde rivers.

It’s a good birding spot, but we didn’t get a lot of good photos. Black-tailed Gnatcatchers are common there. I was hoping to get a picture of a Black-throated Gray Warbler. I got one, but not good enough to publish. We were hoping for more warblers, and the Red Crossbills.

I messed around with taking some panoramic shots at the top, but wasn’t really prepared for it, and didn’t take the time needed. I posted one anyway.

The temperature was cool (relative to Phoenix), and it was heavily forested. It is a beautiful spot and worth going back.

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