Granite Reef and Goldfield Recreation Areas along the Salt River, May 11, 2017

Fr. Charlie and I went out to Granite Reef and Goldfield Recreation Areas on the Salt River.

We left Fr. Charlie’s place Thursday morning, May 11, at about 8:30 and got to Granite Reef at about 9:30. I forgot to bring a Tonto Pass from home, so we stopped at the Walgreens along the way (on Power road after exiting the 202) to get one. A pass is required at all the recreation areas along the Salt River. Granite Reef was very ‘birdy’ with the usual birds there. The highlight was the Bullock’s Orioles, that have returned to nest there this year. We thought that they were building their nest, but when I got home and looked at the pictures I realized that the female was bringing insects, rather than nesting material, into the nest, so there must have been chicks in it.

We talked to some people at Granite Reef who said they saw Bald Eagles at Goldfield, which is just a little way up river (the next turn-off past Coon Bluff). We saw the juvenile Bald Eagle roosting on our side of the river, but we didn’t see the adults or the nest. By then it was after noon, so maybe it wasn’t a good time to see the eagles, since it was getting hot. We also saw wild horses there. They were very tame and walked right up to us – my guess is that since so many people are interested in the wild horses, they have grown accustomed to people.

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  1. Posted May 13, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Joe. Very nice photos. Those horses look like they’re posing for you!
    You are correct about the pomegranate. The flower is beautiful!

    • Joe
      Posted May 13, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Tiki. The horses lined up for the photo 🙂

  2. Teresa Stuever
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice pictures Joe! The Orioles look like the ones that we have here. We have a jelly feeder and they come around alot.

    • Joe
      Posted May 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Teresa! You were there at Granite Reef last time you visited. I know that Baltimore Orioles are common there. They are similar to the Bullock’s with the orange-ish body, but they have an all black head. According to, the range of the Bullock’s doesn’t extend over to Wichita, and I didn’t see any reports of them on So, maybe you are thinking of the Baltimore Oriole. I’d like to see one on your jelly feeder! We (MA, Nancy, and I) saw one in Wichita at Sedgwick County Park one year.

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