My final day, and time to attempt to mop up. I allowed myself the luxury of a lie in until 6am, and was at Picacho Peak State Park for the the low glow of early morning. Here I mucked about with Snuffi and cactuses, and finally got a Cactus Wren that had a clue about plant identification and was perched on its namesake. This is a paid-entry area, but it was early enough that it wasn't manned and so I was able to potter about for a while. It would be worthwhile, if you are visiting for a week, to see if you can get a State-wide pass, as I shelled out in several places and indeed was put off visiting Patagonia Lake due to the $15 entrance fee (in addition to the time I didn't have).
|Western Meadowlark. Or Eastern.....|
|Classic Thrasher habitat|
I had a very pleasant few hours wandering around here until the sun went down, and spent the last half an hour getting down low with the ducks on the main lake. This was complicated by it being 'Sadie Hawkins', an important date in the American high school calendar where the girls ask the boy out and everybody dresses up. So when I emerged from the Riparian part of the park the lake was crawling with dolled-up teenage girls and gawky uncomfortable-looking boys. A dusty
|female Ring-necked Duck|
|drake Ring-necked Duck|
And that was my trip! After dinner I drove to my pre-ordained lodgings next to Phoenix Skyharbor, and the following morning I flew home in a somewhat roundabout but enjoyable way. About 125 species, of which a third were new. 1800 photos, reduced to 428 on the first pass once back in front of a decent screen, with a lot more editing to come. My ideal kind of trip really - short and sweet in a new area with new birds, with lots of advance planning and a lot fun had putting it into practice. I'll be going back, the only question is when?
|No Panthers were harmed during the taking of this photograph.|