Friday, May 10, 2013

Ramsey Canyon Reverie

1. on the road to Ramsey-kab When you drive the road to Ramsey Canyon…

you leave the desert behind,

a cool green forest awaits you,

and with it, the forest birds,

2. painted redstart-kabHere the Painted Redstart waits to flash you with its tail,

3. robin-kab Here the robin makes its home

4. sky-kab among silvery Sycamore trees

5. sycamore bones-kab with trunks like bleached white bones,

6. creek-kab Water tumbles down the canyon it what seems to be a miracle in this dry place,

7. pool-kab it gathers in a little pool,

and though it is spring,

the dry leaves of autumn still gather like rust along the ground.

8. bridge-kab A small foot bridge leads to a small glen,

9. creek-kab a place filled with wispy memories

10. cabin-kab and ghosts from the past, evidence

of man’s attempt to tame this wild land.

11. bushtit-kab Here the Bushtits gather to feed,

12. black-throated gray warbler-kab Here the black-throated Gray Warbler sings,

(after all it is spring)

13. black-chinned hummingbird-kab and the first Black-chinned hummingbird of the year,

feeds on nectar, manmade but sweet and tempting,

and easy after a long migratory flight,

while farther down the trail…

14. squirrel-kab a gray squirrel nibbles on tree flowers.

15. beginning-kab When you drive up this road, it’s not a Dead End…it’s only the beginning!

Chris Rohrer coaxed me out of the house one weekend in March to search for birds in Sierra Vista. While I had been to Ramsey Canyon before, I had never been to Ash Canyon or Miller Canyon. Gus happened to have a car rally this day, so it all worked out. We started our morning at Ramsey Canyon and after breakfast we worked our way around to the other two canyons. It was another long but fun day and we saw lots of birds, including a few Life Birds! One of the highlights for me at Ramsey was seeing the bushtits, a species I had only seen one time before years ago in Gardner Canyon near Sonoita on the slopes of the Santa Ritas. More posts to come! (I’m trying to catch up!)

Birds seen in Ramsey Canyon on March 23, 2013 (Start at 8:30 AM; 2:55 hours; 1 mile)

  1. Magnificent hummingbird
  2. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  3. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  4. Anna’s Hummingbird
  5. Acorn Woodpecker
  6. Ladder-backed woodpecker
  7. Arizona Woodpecker
  8. Hutton’s vireoDSC_0272
  9. Mexican Jay
  10. Common Raven
  11. Bridled Titmouse
  12. Bushtit
  13. White-breasted nuthatch
  14. Brown creeper
  15. Bewick’s Wren
  16. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  17. American Robin
  18. Orange-crowned Warbler
  19. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  20. Black-throared Gray Warbler
  21. Painted Redstart
  22. Lesser Goldfinch

Note: Ramsey Canyon is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. There is a small fee to enter. It is also an eBird Hotspot.


  1. Just such a lovely day out and post, the birds are as always beautiful and the landscapes and your poetical descriptions match so well. I love the fresh green and bare sycamores as well as those old browned leaves and water in country like this always seems like a miracle.

  2. That cabin looks almost worthy of a roof for an overnighter. And what a treat to catch the early birds.

    What is "catch up?" I'll probably be behind on life's stories for the rest of my life. ;)

    1. I thought the stretch between posts was to make those memories last and keep you dreaming about your next trip;)

    2. Cute Chris! Yes! That's what I was doing!

  3. Hi Katie...You sure looking like you are having fun out there!!
    That Squirrel looks more like he is smelling that flower..made me chuckle!!
    Love the warbler..I have seen two returning so far the Palm and Yellow Rump !!
    Lovely scenery !!
    Happy Mothers Day

    1. Grammie, I'm glad the squirrel made you smile and I'm glad your warblers are starting to return.

  4. Looks like a great place Kathie and that stream must be a magnet for passerines! Your New World warblers are to die for! Love 'em! (-:

    1. Jenny, this particular canyon is a magnet for all kinds of specialties, especially hummingbirds in the winter. It's the only place I have ever seen a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, though I did not see one on this day.

  5. What a great way to display your photos. Very creative and poetic. I enjoyed it entirely. And as always wonderful pics! Such gorgeous birds.

    1. Quite Paths, I am so glad you enjoyed the poetry of it!

  6. ...really enjoyed the post. I can tell you love it there!

    1. Kelly, I am glad to be back. There is so much to do and see!


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.