West Texas and Southeast Arizona Spring 2024
Saturday April 27, 2024 to Monday May 6, 2024
This trip focuses on photographing the various birds of west Texas and Southeastern Arizona. This is a large area with lots of beautiful and interesting birds living in one of the most scenic parts of the United States.
We’ll start out in San Antonio and head west focusing on species like the Golden-cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Black-capped Vireo, Lucifer Hummingbird and a variety of others. During our time in Texas we will also make a special effort to photograph the Colima Warbler. While we will be making special efforts for the listed species we will also make as much time as possible for the variety of other species of interest in the area.
On the Arizona leg of the trip we will have more flexibility on locations to allow us to have opportunities to photograph the most desired species of the group. We will make sure to spend some time in the higher elevations seeking out species like Red-faced Warbler, Elegant Trogon, Olive Warbler and others. We will also have time at the lower elevations seeking species like the Rufous-winged Sparrow, Gilded Flicker, Varied Bunting and others.
The trip will be limited to three participants plus Greg Lavaty for a total of four people and the main focus will be on bird photography. This itinerary includes all transportation starting at the San Antonio International airport on April 27 and ending at the Tucson International Airport on May 6. It also includes all lodging and entrance fees where applicable. It doesn’t cover your airfare or meals. The cost is $2950/person with shared room, $560 additional for private room.
Overall the trip will not be strenuous and most photography will be done in the proximity of the vehicle. However, the hike to the Colima Warbler is fairly strenuous with approximately an 7-8 mile round trip hike with about a 2100’ elevation gain. There is not water available along the trail so we will need to carry our water for the hike with us. We typically start the hike very early in the morning so we can take advantage of the cooler temperatures and arrive in the habitat of the warbler with good light for photography. We typically are back to the vehicle around lunchtime when it’s starting to get hot.
This is an example itinerary and won’t necessarily be the final itinerary. The Arizona locations can vary based on the participant’s particular want list. We will adjust the itinerary to best fit the top target species of the participants. We have options to visit the Portal area, the Sierra Vista area, the Patagonia area, the Green Valley area and the Tucson area. Lodging will be at a motel such as a Quality Inn, Days Inn, Super 8, Holiday Inn…
Day 1 (Sat 4/27) Midday departure from San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Birding around Junction, TX in search of Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Painted Bunting and others. Night in Junction, TX
Day 2 (Sun 4/28) Morning birding around Junction, TX focusing on Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler along with any other birds we can find. Lunchtime departure for Terlingua, TX. Night in Terlingua, TX.
Day 3 (Mon 4/29) Birding around the Terlingua area in search of west Texas species including Varied Bunting, Lucifer Hummingbird, Scaled Quail and others. Night in Terlingua, TX.
Day 4 (Tue 4/30) Morning birding in search of the Colima Warbler and other higher elevation species, afternoon easy birding for any west Texas species we might have missed the previous day. Night in Terlingua, TX.
Day 5 (Wed 5/1) Morning birding around Terlingua, mid-morning departure for Willcox, AZ with some birding opportunities along the way if time allows. Night in Willcox, AZ.
Day 6 (Thu 5/2) Morning birding around Portal, AZ searching for Mexican Chickadee, Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker and others. Afternoon departure for Green Valley, AZ with night in Green Valley.
Day 7 (Fri 5/3) Birding around Green Valley, AZ searching for Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Bridled Titmouse, Elf Owl, Whiskered Screech Owl and others. Night in Green Valley, AZ.
Day 8 (Sat 5/4) Morning birding around Green Valley then transfer to Tucson, AZ with afternoon birding in the Tucson, AZ area in search of species including Gilded Flicker, Lucy’s Warbler, Rufous-winged Sparrow and others. Night in Tucson.
Day 9 (Sun 5/5) Day birding in the Tucson area with target species including Red-faced Warbler, Olive Warbler, Graces Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Virginia’s Warbler and others. Night in Tucson.
Day 10 (Mon 5/6) Morning departures for home from Tucson International Airport (TUS).