White Mountain Audubon members at Wenima Wildlife Area
2010 Archived Field Trip Reports
Fieldtrips are regularly held on the third Saturday of the month and meet in the parking lot of the McDonald's in Pinetop at 7:00 A.M. sharp. Special trips and afternoon fieldtrips are as scheduled. There are no regular trips in December, January, or February, but look for our Christmas Bird Count and other special events during the winter. For a schedule of upcoming trips, go to our Calendar. Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one. You should plan to bring a sack lunch, snacks and water for the day. Most fieldtrips last until the afternoon. All of our trips are open to the public. They are free with the exception of paying for rental vans or entrance fees on some occasions. Please plan to leave your pets at home. While on the trip please refrain from making loud noises. Most trips involve some moderate hiking. If you have any questions about fieldtrips email us. Hope to see you there!
Fieldtrip Reports 2010
For updates on White Mountain Audubon Society Field Trips please refer to the newsletter.
White Mountain Audubon Campout June 2010
Burnt Mill Spring-- The pond was full, grass was green, and the temperatures cool in the evening, sunny and warm by day. Great setting. Not only that, we had a fun group of people—Lorel and Kathy from Tucson, Andy from cottonwood, John from the Concho area, and Liz, Tom and Ron from Pinetop-Lakeside. Saturday evening we were joined by Loretta and Bob and Mary Ellen and Chuck for the Potluck (great food washed down by chocolate cupcakes).
For our Saturday night talk, Gail and Bob Morris from Monarch Watch presented an eye-opening presentation on Monarch butterflies. They informed us that the great Monarch butterfly migrations may be in danger, due in part to loss of habitat. Plant milkweed was there message. The Monarch lays eggs on the milkweed and the larvae survive by eating the milkweed plant. Milkweed is toxic to most creatures, but the larvae and then the beautiful Monarch butterfly become unpalatable to most predators. So milkweed provides the source for their life cycle and continued migrations.
Other highlights. Sightings of Williamson's Sapsuckers, American Robins, a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Western Tanager, Northern Flickers, Stellar Jays, Western Bluebird, Chipping Sparrow and Hermit Thrush. There were also great numbers of Tiger Swallowtails down in the pond area.
Backing up a little, on Friday at dusk, Tom & Liz sneaked up on a pair of cow elk in a nearby meadow. One of the elk stared at us for a long time, obviously confused by what we might be. At one point she started coming toward us and then stood there "barking" at us (best description we could use). The elk finally turned off into the woods. People back in camp swore they heard a dog barking.
Saturday morning we drove to Greer. At two different stopping points we were able to sight Violet-Green Swallows, Black-headed Grossbeaks, Flycatchers (probably a Willow), Acorn Woodpeckers, Brewers' Blackbirds, a Red-Tailed Hawk, Turkey Vultures, Common Ravens, male and female Mountain Bluebirds, Black Phoebe, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Band-tailed pigeon, Mourning Dove, and a Townsend Solitaire. Right as we were driving away, John called our attention to a Spotted Sandpiper.
We continued our Saturday adventure by driving to Anne and Don McGregor's isolated mini-ranch south of Alpine. They treated us to a great hike where we saw Indian ruins dating back approximately 1,000 years, waterfalls on Pace Creek, and through meadows thick with wild Iris. Back at their home we saw the Hummingbirds, (Broadtails) that had come to their multiple feeders. We know they will number in the 100's in another month as we saw the video of last summer's throngs. And the refreshments the McGregors provided were very much appreciated. And their collection of artifacts and fossils is not to be missed—thanks Anne & Don for the Grand Tour. Lorel, Kathy and Andy stopped to see the Eagle Nest at Luna Lake so we added Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, Pie-billed Grebe and Wild Turkey from their sightings. As we drove back over to the Greens Peak area, we watched a Northern Harrier busy getting an evening meal and an American Kestrel doing the same. No one ever said the Campouts were all the same. Thanks to all for a great weekend.... Liz & Tom Jernigan