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2020-11-26 & 27 Outside of Pima Arizona

Crissal Thrasher - Recurvirostra americana
It compelled me to fetch my camera gear when I discovered these thrashers on the property. Birding during a Thanksgiving visit to a friend’s home on Cottonwood Wash, outside of Pima Arizona.

I set Thatcher Arizona as a destination on this expedition because I wanted to upgrade the electrical system at my friend Linda’s house there. It took me several days to accomplish my tasks, but by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I’d finished. For Turkey day, plans for a dinner at her friend Kei’s home had been in place for some time, and they invited me to attend. Thursday, Linda took me out to her friend’s place outside of Pima on Cottonwood Wash, and I found the inspiration to attempt bird photography after I discovered a Crissal Thrasher on her property. Linda and her sister returned home after dinner and an evening at the campfire, but I enjoyed myself enough that I stayed overnight.

Friday we visited another property Kei owned where she’d set up habitat at great expense to provide refuge for endangered frogs and fish (Chiricahua Leopard Frogs, Desert Pupfish, and Gila Topminnows). I attempted more bird photos, but I got nothing too exciting, though I enjoyed the peace and serenity the pond provided.

I planned to head back to Linda’s place on Friday afternoon, but after arriving back at Kei’s home, I realized I forgot my nice water bottle at the pond (Bear Springs). Kei offered to give me a ride back out to the springs after a meal, but luckily a friend of hers called for permission to visit the springs, and they offered to retrieve the bottle for me.

It’s funny how the universe plans its opportunities and disguises them as mistakes. When her friends finished their errand at the springs and delivered my bottle, it provided me with a meeting that was a highlight of the day. Elmer and his mom, Bonnie, were a delight to meet, as was their friend Brian. It turned out Linda was good friends with all three. As the trio was preparing to leave, Elmer and Brian started noticing the MacGyvering I’d been doing on the Bike and the RV. It turns out Elmer is a master welder, and we had a lot to talk about. He invited me to his shop and offered to help me learn Tig welding.

We continued our conversation as the evening advanced, and despite the chill brought on with the night breeze, and the shivering I was experiencing, I could not break away. In fact, when I learned Elmer and I shared a passion for photography, the visit carried on to include this new topic.

The gallery below shows the birds I met during the two days I spent at these oases. The species list is modest. I met Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, Crissal Thrasher, Gila Topminnow, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla and Song Sparrow.

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