Thursday 16 June 2011

Usery Mountain Regional Park, Phoenix, PHX,

From the airport at Phoenix, it is necessary to hop onto the car rentals bus which takes you to the Car Rental Centre where all the main brands are represented. Alamo was my company of choice today and soon my Toyota had taken me to Usery Mountain Regional Park. Pass Mesa on Route 60 travelling east. About 19 kms beyond Alma School Rd, turn north onto the 202. Leave Route 202 after 4kms at E University Drive, turn right over the freeway then left, north, onto North Ellsworth Rd for a further 6.6 kms, where the entrance is signposted on the right. (Google Earth ref; 33 28’ 56”N 111 37’ 24”W).

This is a typical tract of Lower Sonoran Desert habitat and many of the Phoenix specials can be found here without the need to travel down to the Saguaro National Park near Tucson. For a map showing roads, hiking trails and relief, follow this link.
I had a very short time before the sun went down and the light, though beautiful, did not lend itself to bird photography, so I mucked about with cacti, sunsets and the moon instead.

Birds seen; 8

American Kestrel 1, Gambel’s Quail 6, Mourning Dove 15, White-winged Dove 4, Lesser Nighthawk 15, Gila Woodpecker 5, Northern Flicker 1, Curve-billed Thrasher 3.

When returning to the Car Rental Centre, stay on Route 10 to Junction 149. Leave at least half an hour ahead of pick up time to return the car and get the bus back to the airport.

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Phoenix, PHX, Usery Mountain Regional Park,

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