Good birding buddy Tommy D., and I decided to do some birding in Greenlee County as it was a place I had always wanted to visit but had never made it there in the past. Tommy has been there recently in the past and knew where a lot of hotspots were located. We planned our visit to coincide with the Global Big Day where eBird takes a snapshot of all the bird sighting data on one day of the year throughout the world. Since it is a very under-birded location, all of our reports for May 13 would get Greenlee County represented in the Global Big Day.
The first full day was a trip to the northern part of the county and it was a very full day. Highway 191 is a very good road, but it is not a road one can travel very fast on due to the many twists and curves and switchbacks. Once you head north from Clifton, you travel through the mining community of Morenci where one of the world's largest reserves of copper is located. This is an interesting ride and it is hard to imagine the enormity of this mine until you drive through in daylight.
This day was spent in the higher elevations and with that type of habitat, many of our birds and other critters consisted of the types of animals that favor those habitats. At one point as we rounded a curve, we had a Black Bear in the middle of the road and it took off running and disappeared into the brush on the side before I could get my camera ready. The photos below are indicative of what we found up north. We even venture to the isolated community of Blue, Arizona, which has a post office, a school and a library and in 2000, it had a population of 36 people!
Click HERE for a link to a video of the woodpecker and its drumming.
Click HERE to a link to a video of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher where it can clearly be heard calling.
Friday was a very long day due to the distance we traveled and the many stops we made. We were secretly hoping for Dusky Grouse in one o the many places we visited. Habitat was very good, but the pesky grouse were not meant to be. Stay tuned for part 2 of this adventure and my initiation to Greenlee County. There is much more to come, including Saturday which was the Global Big Day.