Monday, May 13, 2013

A Visit to Ash Canyon

1. LBWO-kab Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Ash Canyon 3-23-13

On a sunny Saturday in March Chris Rohrer and I took a trip to Sierra Vista to bird three of the famous canyons in the area. While I have been to Ramsey Canyon a few times, this would be my first visit to Ash and Miller Canyons.

2. Ramsey Canyon-kab We drove away from Ramsey Canyon with a list full of birds. Since we arrived here early, we beat the crowds and had the place pretty much to ourselves for the hour or so that we spent here. As we were leaving the parking lot was starting to fill up. After a quick breakfast at a local diner we headed for Ash Canyon.

3. feeders-kab The Feeders at Ash Canyon Bed and Breakfast 3-23-13

Ash Canyon is actually a Bed and Breakfast owned and operated by Mary Jo Ballator. Others are allowed to visit her bird feeders by paying a small donation to help feed all the birds. Mary Jo has a wonderful area set up with bird feeders to attract birds and seating to allow one to just relax and observe the birds. The location of her property in Ash Canyon is a magnet for all kinds of unusual birds, especially some sought after rarities. Of course, the usual suspects were there as well.

4. Yellow-rump-kab One scruffy looking Yellow-rumped Warbler!

5. WBnuthatch-kab One Curious White-breasted Nuthatch!

6. acorn woodpecker-kab One comical Acorn Woodpecker!

7. sparrow n rat-kab Look closely! Do you see the Lincoln’s Sparrow and the rat?

8. LAWO female-kab Female Ladder-backed Woodpecker

9. Magnificent-kab One Magnificent Hummingbird 3-23-13

We saw numerous other birds as well. Chris got some better shots than I did I think. I was lost in the wonder of this place and before we left I did briefly see the Lucifer Hummingbird though I did not get a photo of this shy and elusive bird. Still, it was a Life Bird for me! We left Ash Canyon around 3 PM and headed up the road to Miller Canyon. I have read and heard horror stories of the trip up this canyon so it was with a bit of trepidation that I headed down the road. Who knew what would await me when we arrived there. (Come back tomorrow to find out!)


Birds seen at Ash Canyon on 3-23-2013 (Start 1:10 PM, 2 hours, .4 miles)

  1. Turkey Vulture
  2. Northern Harrier
  3. White-winged Dove
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Magnificent Hummingbird
  6. Lucifer Hummingbird
  7. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  8. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  9. Acorn woodpecker
  10. Gila woodpecker
  11. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  12. Say’s Phoebe
  13. Mexican Jay
  14. Bushtit
  15. White-breasted Nuthatch
  16. Bewick’s Wren
  17. Curve-billed Thrasher
  18. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  19. Chipping Sparrow
  20. Lincoln’s Sparrow
  21. White-crowned Sparrow
  22. Dark-eyed Junco
  23. Pyrrhuloxia
  24. Scott’s Oriole
  25. House Finch
  26. Lesser Goldfinch
  27. Pine Siskin

10. siskins-kab Lesser Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in Ash Canyon 3-23-13


  1. Very nice break in our day, no?:) I cannot wait for school to be over. Very stressful right now. Too much going on. Anyhoo, hope you are enjoying your day. Very nice memories:)

    1. Chris, it was a nice break and a new place for me to bird. Glad you broke the ice for me! Hang in there. School's almost over and then the fun begins!

  2. Very cool! Ash Canyon B&B is one of my favorite SE AZ must-visit locations for birding.

    1. Robert, it was new to me but I will definitely go back there now.

  3. The Acorn Woodie does look very comical Kathie, the eye looks completely in the wrong place.{:))
    Fantastic shot of the Ladder-back.

  4. Sweet photos Kathie, and a great location profile!

    1. Thanks Laurence. Come back tomorrow when you will be mentioned in my blog!

  5. Gorgeous pictures!! Wonderful sightings :-))

  6. I just love when you two go birding to new places. You sure got some great shots.

    1. Thanks Gaelyn! One day we will both go birding with you I am sure!

  7. Wonderful post, Kathie, I love the photo of the Acorn Woodpecker!

    1. prairiebirder, they are so cute! I love woodpeckers!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.