Today I make my way across the desert to a "permit only" preserve known as Cienaga Creek. However, I’m not sure many of the people had oneJ I drove 30 minutes east of Tucson and found myself in the middle of nowhere. PS. Sorry about the font size today. Blogger switched over to the new interface several weeks ago when this post was written and I was forced to copy and paste for the blog from Microsoft word which I was not happy about. It wasn't until Jeanne from In Search Of recommended me to use Google Chrome. I am now able to write normally again. I am in the far away remote city of Portal this weekend searching for bear, coati and whatever amazing bird comes my way. I'll be back again soon with more exciting news to report. The thrill of journeys and adventures.....so let's get started with Cienega(See-en-ah-gah).
I was alone. The trains came at me from all directions. The road was lonely and I felt like I was in a completely strange new world. Another birding hotspot where you can (and probably will) get your feet wet. The trains though were a bit unsettling and unique at the same time. The operators have some beautiful views from their tracks!
I crossed a bridge and the cool wind almost blew my hat into the running creek below! And I looked at how far down the creek was…..and saw a biology class in session. Sweet! Now how do I get my butt down there? A random person came along and told me to follow the dirt path near the bridge.
Green lush vegetation surrounded me including lots of beautiful wildflowers!
I had a feeling that I wouldn’t spot many birds on this very windy day, but I did love all the varied vegetation habitat going on. You start at desert landscape and work your way down into the Arizona Cottonwood Canopy…..a whole world in itself!
But I had to keep my eyes open for trains as I crossed the tracks.
I finally made it down into the creek and a woman with her dog called out in her thick accented voice, “I see you made it down to the creek!” Indeed I had…..and there were other birders and wildlife enthusiasts as well .
So I wasn’t alone after all!!! And there was a comfort knowing that there were others there because the barren desert road was well.....deserted. Where did they all park?
Due to the day being fairly windy, it was difficult to spot a bird in the canopy of the trees. However, I did spy swallow nests under the bridgesJ
Cienagas Creek was amazing. Next time I go, I’ll wear water shoes on the hike to enjoy the cool running water.
From Tucson on eastbound I-10, exit 281 (Sonoita/Patagonia), turn left to cross I-10 to Marsh Station Road. From westbound I-10, exit 281, loop exit to Marsh Station Road. Travel northeast on Marsh Station Road approximately 3 miles and watch for the Gabe Zimmerman Davidson Canyon Trailhead sign on the right. After parking, walk through the gate and go left (northeast) on the trail. At "Y" go right and follow trial down to creek.
I did see a Phoebe under a tree near the creek.
And a Black Throated Sparrow.
There was a lot to see, but it was getting hot. So, it was a sign that I needed to head back to the car. Bring bug spray!
On my way back to the car, I found this scruffy little guy with a prickly pear fruit in his mouth. More tomorrow from this Cienagas series….
Don’t worryJ He made it across the road safely. More adventures tomorrow with Kathie!