When

Friday, October 26, 2018 at 6:00 AM MST
-to-
Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 5:00 PM MST

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Where

Various; meeting places/times to be determined 
Ajo, AZ  

 
 

Contact

Cathy Wise 
Arizona Field Ornithologists 
 
cwise@audubon.org 
 

2018 AZFO Annual Meeting Field Trips 

The highlight of every AZFO gathering is the opportunity to bird new areas with experts and friends! Registration is now open for 2018 Annual Meeting field excursions. Please note that the area leaders will be in touch with you as we near the event date and will share specific meeting place and times and any other pertinent info.

Happy Birding!

Please Contact Cathy (cwise@audubon.org) if you have already registhered for the meeting, but not for a trip. Thank you.

Friday, Oct. 26:   Half-day Expeditions

Gila Bend/Paloma Ranch - Troy Corman

(Afternoon, 12 participants); Difficulty level, easy.

As we make our way to Ajo, participants will visit various ponds, agricultural lands, and isolated tree groves in the Gila Bend and Paloma Ranch areas. The focus will be on searching for late migrants and early arriving winter visitors. It is a good season for vagrants such as rarer gulls and shorebirds, as well as wayward flycatchers, vireos, warblers and other passerines.

OPCNM- Alamo Canyon - Ryan O’Donnell

(Morning, 10 participants); Difficulty level moderate,  a 4 mile hike to 2,300 feet. 

This is a scenic hike through Organ Pipe Cacti and towering saguaros to potential Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl habitat.  Alamo Canyon is known not only for its rugged beauty and its famous owls, but also for a quick trip through a variety of southern Arizona habitats.  Being a relatively well-vegetated wash, there is also a potential for exciting migrants.  We start at the trailhead among towering columnar cacti including the Organ Pipes the park is named for, up to a historic ranch.  If time allows, we might continue off-trail a mile or so up into junipers and oaks in the wash above the ranch.  Bring clothing (including footwear) appropriate for off-trail birding in desert conditions, and plenty of water.  There is no fee for this trip but bring a few dollars to help with the $25 per vehicle park entrance fee.

OPCNM - Arch Canyon - Eric Hough

(Morning, 10 participants); Difficulty level moderate to strenuous

Time: 8:00am. Meet at Kris Eggle Visitor Center at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Arch Canyon is a scenic canyon on the west side of the Ajo Mountains with xeroriparian thornscrub habitat surrounded by upland Sonoran desert scrub, featuring dense stands of Arizona rosewood and scrub oak in the upper reaches. We see which late migrants and wintering species may be occupying this interesting habitat. Rocky terrain with boulders and prickly vegetation. Sturdy hiking boots, at least 3-4 liters of water per person, your own snacks, sunblock, and protective clothing recommended. We will meet at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument’s visitor center, then carpool up the Ajo Mountain loop to the trailhead. Park entrance fee is $25 per vehicle (good for 7 days), which participants can split the cost of in the carpools heading onto the Ajo Mountain Rd., or participants can choose to get their own vehicle pass if they plan on visiting Organ Pipe more through the weekend. Depending on time and interest, we could check out some additional locations in the park.

Quitobaquito Springs - Chrissy Kondrat-Smith

(Morning, 8 participants); Difficulty level, some walking on uneven terrain and off-road driving.

Time: 8:00 AM.  Meet-up location TBD. We will carpool to the spring.

This critical water source is located only a few hundred yards from the US-Mexican border. A beautiful oasis within the arid and semi-arid Sonoran desert. Expected species click here.


Sunday, Oct. 28: Sunday Workshops

Earbirding Workshop by Nathan Pieplow (Morning)

Becoming an Expert Listener (half-day workshop with a field trip component).

Most attempts to teach bird sound identification rely primarily on memorization. This workshop takes a different approach. Just as beginning birders learn the different parts of the bird and how to distinguish colors like “buff” and “rufous,” we will study the different parts of a sound and how to distinguish tone qualities like “burry” and “polyphonic.” We will learn to read spectrograms, and acquire a common vocabulary for describing bird sounds. Then we will apply these skills to some significant bird sound identification challenges in the region. No matter your level of experience, this workshop will help you listen to sounds more analytically, describe them more accurately, and use them more effectively in identifying birds (earbirding.com/blog/).

Gull and Shorebird ID in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico by David Vander Pluym and Lauren Harter (Full-day)

Difficulty level, easy. IMPORTANT, see travel instructions and waiver information provided by the trip leaders. This will be a day trip, so prepare for a 3-hour morning drive from Ajo. Anyone who wishes is welcome to stay overnight in Puerto Penasco, but you must make your own arrangements. Travel to this part of Mexico is relatively simple; the only requirements are a valid U.S. passport and, for anyone driving, Mexican car insurance. Please bring a scope if you have one. We will stop for tacos for lunch; keep in mind this is a seafood town so vegetarians or those with allergies are encouraged to bring their own lunch.