2023-03-21 in Patagonia

Pine Siskin - Spinus pinus
Patton’s, in Patagonia is legendary as a ‘must see’ birding destination in southeastern Arizona. Yet, this was my first visit. I spent almost two hours there, and those few hours were delightful.

Tuesday I visited the Paton Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia, a destination I have heard many folks rave about over the years. It was my first visit, but I sure hope it is not the last. Once the home of bird lovers Wally and Marion Paton, it is now operated by the Tucson Audubon Society. The staff on hand seem to keep busy maintaining the grounds by weeding, pruning, brush-clearing, and filling the bird-feeders. When I saw how much work was going on, and how many birds flocked over the grounds, I felt it only fitting to contribute to their “Sugar Fund”. 

There seemed to be many ways visitors can enjoy their time here. Some seemed to find interest in hiking the trails, especially those that wind their way through the adjacent Nature Conservancy grounds next door. There were camera enthusiasts like myself, finding pleasure in capturing images of the many bird species here (both resident and migrants). And there were the twitchers, happy just to see the birds, and chat with each other about what they had seen.

I tried to meet all the species I found and capture their countenance with my new camera. I may have overdone it. I stayed just short of two hours, and when I finished, I had taken almost 2000 frames. That is a rate of 1000 per hour. I *must* learn to discipline myself. I spent most of Tuesday night on my second round of culling. I whittled the set down to about 150, before finally reducing the number to a manageable sixty-five. 

I’d been on the road for over a week, boondock camping in my RV. I needed to attend to my dump-and-fill tank duties, so I paid for a night at the Patagonia RV Park, and took care of my tanks. I thought I was done taking bird pictures for the day, but when I spotted a Vermilion Flycatcher working the field next door, I broke out my camera and spent some time with this lovely bird.

 When the day was done, I had met the following species: Abert’s Towhee, Curve-Billed Thrasher, Gila Woodpecker, Green-Tailed Towhee, Inca Dove, Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Lazuli Bunting, Lesser Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Pine Siskin, Scott’s Oriole, Song Sparrow, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-Breasted Nuthatch, White-Crowned Sparrow, and Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

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