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2019-10-27 Sunday at Arivaca

Ladder-Backed Woodpecker - Dryobates scalaris
The cienega at Arivaca is part of the Buenos Aires NWR and over the years, one of my favorite birding destinations. Arivaca Arizona.

As I wound up my Autumn 2019 Arizona expedition, I wished I had more time to linger and explore. I’d have liked to of spent more time this south-central region of the state and visit Madera Canyon, Tubac and Patagonia, but I’ve decided to drive through Arivaca then push for Poway. I’d considered another Salton Sea visit, but my thoughts suggested it wasn’t something I should try this trip.

I left my cousin’s place in Tucson late Saturday afternoon and rendezvoused with my friend Linda to look over a camping trailer she was buying here in Tucson. Two hours later we had her rig setup and she and her crew left on their two hour drive back to Thatcher and I set my sights on destinations to the south. I found an open field along a rural road between Tucson and Green Valley to park for the night. With a little online research I found a breakfast destination at the Arizona Family Restaurant in Green Valley a few miles to the south. Still being backed up with images and stories to process, I worked to get caught up as much as my energy would allow before surrendering to the horizontal plane.

After a nice breakfast Sunday morning I drove to Arivaca and walked the Cienega Trail which loops through the reserve. It was a little breezy when I started my walk, and there weren’t many birds out. It became very very windy before I got back to the van. I photographed Gila Woodpeckers, Ladder-Backed Woodpeckers, Green-Tailed Towhees, Song Sparrows, some high flying Red-Tailed Hawks, but not much else. It was not my best day at Arivaca. For a review on my past visits to this location, visit <This Link>.

When I left Arivaca, I drove the rural roads west toward my digs near San Diego. My drive through Arizona towards home was tormented with strong winds, especially the first part of the drive. The wind continually shifted direction, adding to the challenges of a long road home. Finally, well into California (just east of El Centro), the wind calmed down and there was one less threat to a safe drive. And here’s a spoiler alert: I could hold my resolve to continue home with no further stops. The lure of the Salton Sea was just too seductive.

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