May 24, 2016: Oak Creek Canyon

After a relatively late night at the Lowell Observatory, I still managed to get out to Kachina Wetlands again by about 5:30. This time I spent a while in the pine woods, and was rewarded with a Grace’s Warbler way up in the treetop. Walking around the edge of the area, I found another lifer – Mountain Chickadees — but they were a bit too active to get a good pic. But nearby in a dead tree, an Osprey perched for quite a while.


After breakfast, we headed out for Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. The view from the Vista is pretty stunning:

Oak Creek Canyon

And then we headed down into the canyon. We were surprised at how crowded all the parking areas were on a Tuesday morning, but we were able to stop in a few spots. We spent a couple of hours at Banjo Bill picnic area, which turned out to be both lovely and quite birdy.

Oak Creek Canyon

One of the first birds we saw in the parking lot was an Acorn Woodpecker.
Acorn Woodpecker

I also got a good view of a Virginia’s Warbler, but the only pic I could get was less than stunning.

Virginia's Warbler

Trust me, that’s the right bird. I had seen in ebird that someone saw 4 Painted Redstarts in Oak Creek Canyon just the day before, so I was really hoping for one. When we walked a path a little way upstream, we found them pretty quickly. Unfortunately these warblers are insanely active. I have a whole bunch of shots of branches and rocks that Painted Redstart was on just a second before I pressed the button. About the best I could get is this one:

Painted Redstart

Eventually we went on to Sedona, where we had Mexican food for lunch (and took forever to find a parking place). After lunch, we decided to pass on the Institute for Brain Education or getting our chakras read, and instead went back northward to Slide Rock State Park.

It’s supposed to be a good place for American Dipper, but we dipped on the dipper. (Sorry). We did see Black Phoebes and Cassin’s Kingbirds, though. Another great spot. We weren’t dressed for swimming, and it was frankly a little cool for it anyway, but lots of people were okay with it:

Slide Rock State Park

We just did some light hiking and called it a day.

Slide Rock State Park

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