Red Rock State Park is south of Sedona along a stretch of Oak Creek as it flows toward Cottonwood to join the Verde River. It is a park that is lush with Cottonwood and Sycamore trees along the creek, big green meadows, red and white rock cliffs and of course lots of birds. It is the prime nesting area for Common Black Hawks. There are lots of trails along the creek and up to a large house built on a cliff called “The House of Apache Fire” which was built by an airplane company executive for his wife in the 1940’s. There is also a trail up to a mountaintop overlook called the eagle’s nest which gives you one of the most spectacular views of the entire Sedona area.
My folks retired for twenty years just upstream from the park at a rancher’s trailer park and I visited them frequently. It was there that I first became a birder and I discovered that the area was one of the best birding spots in Arizona. I would love to go down to the rancher’s fields which had many ditches(really more like small creeks) diverted from Qak Creek and lie down in the grass under the Cottonwood trees and watch all the warblers, vireos, robins, tanagers, orioles and other species fly in and out. Every morning I would wake up to the singing of a Bewick’s Wren. Sigh!!! Around the trailer park there were always lots of Cardinals, Spotted Towhees, Oregon Juncos, Chipping Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees, Bridled and Juniper Titmouse, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers and Scrub Jays. And then during migration time big flocks of Cedar Waxwings, Lesser Goldfinches, Western Bluebirds and Pine Siskins would come through. So that’s just a good sample of the cast of characters we might find this time of year.
We will met at two different locations to car pool. One is at the Fry’s Electonics store at 31st Ave and Thunderbird in the northeast corner of the front parking lot(under the trees) at 6:30am or at the McDonalds at I17 and Carefree Highway(on the NE side of I17).
We will be walking around 2 miles around the park, so I would rate it a 3 for birders on a scale of 1 to 5 and a 1 for those that are hikers.
Bring a lunch. We should be returning for Phoenix around 2:00pm
If you are interested in going on this trip please contact me at (602) 938-8244 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.