It’s been quite a few years since I led this trip. We start out just north of Payson on route 87 and just barely out of town we turn east on Houston Mesa road. We pass some homes which are in a high grassland area with a few trees and as we go further north we encounter more Ponderosa pines. Around 15 years ago the road use to cross the East Verde in the water on cement or asphalt crossings. Now they all have large bridges which makes it more difficult to find places to park and get down to the river. We will try to stop at some of these spot to see a mixture of grassland and forest birds. At the river crossings there are lots of cottonwoods and sycamore trees that are usually filled with birds taking advantage of the water and the shade.
We eventually come to the fire control road that runs under the rim from the town of Pine all the way east to Christopher Creek. We will cross the control road and go further north thru several cabin communities to Washington Camp. There are a number of trails that start there and go up to the top of the rim and another that follows a creek. We will elect to follow the creek and avoid killing any birders trying to climb up 2000ft to the top of the Mogollon Rim. This is a very lush and beautiful area that attracts a lot of birds. I hope that some of the migrants have already shown up this early in Spring.
We will also visit another area where highway 87 crosses the East Verde on the way to Pine and Strawberry. This has been a great place to bird everytime we have been there.
Meeting Places: Frys Electronics, 31st Ave and T-bird, NE corner of parking lot.
Time: 7:00am 2nd Spot: McDonalds, I17 and Carefree Hwy, NE corner at 7:30am.
Bring a Lunch; Difficulty 2, Leave Payson at 2:00pm
Contact: Dan Bohlmann at (602) 938-8244 or Email email@example.com