Sonoran Audubon Society

SAS Picnic at Horseshoe Ranch

April 29, 2017 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Horseshoe Ranch/Agua Fria National Monument
Karen LaFrance
SAS Annual Picnic
Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:00 am – 1:00 PM 
Bring your family & your friends to have a great experience in an exceptional upland location!
The Sonoran Audubon Society Annual Picnic is Saturday, April 29th at Horseshoe Ranch, a sustainable working ranch inholding in the BLM’s Agua Fria National Monument owned by the Arizona Game & Fish Department.  YOUR Audubon Chapter provided funds several years ago to assist this conservation purchase of the Ranch;  AND…. YOUR Audubon Chapter’s Agua Fria Important Bird Area (IBA) is right there on the Upper Agua Fria River!
Location: Horseshoe Ranch is located 6 miles east of the Interstate 17 EXIT 259 Bloody Basin Road.  Drive East into the Agua Fria National Monument; the road is dirt (of course) but passable for regular cars-just don’t fly down the road!  The entrance to the Ranch will be marked; however, IF you get to the paved “ford” across the Upper Agua Fria River, you have gone too far and need to turn back and go partway back up the hill you just drive down….
Details: Bring binoculars, hats, sunscreen, walking shoes/boots, A PORTABLE CHAIR FOR EACH PICNICKER! and pot luck dish-salad, side dish or dessert.  Your Chapter provides the basics for hamburgers, “dogs” and veggie burgs and the volunteers to cook these items thanks to Andree’ Tarby, Jim Consolloy, Donna Smith, Darnell Kirksey (who cannot attend the picnic) and many others.  SAS has water and drinks; however, bring your fave water bottle if you are going to be walking to find birds….
Arriving:  8 AM for bird walks.
Easy Walking: One walk will be around the river and the Main Ranch House-easy walking and lots of birds. Jim Consolloy is the leader and he’ll get you back to the picnic site-and your portable chairs-pretty quickly so he and Andree’ can “get cooking’”!!  
Walking Kinda Like Hiking: Another bird walk which takes longer MAY be up Silver Creek (see photo below… taken on a winter’s walk by Karen and Tim Flood).  This walk depends upon how Walk Leaders Joe Ford and Bob “McBob” McCormick feel that morning!  Silver Creek, a tributary of the Agua Fria River, is accessed a short distance above the ranch, up Bloody Basin Road, and is reached by car, then by a solid mile of walking.  It is a very “cool” habitat once you get there; there are desert birds along the way, and some interesting migrants in the creek area.  It’ll be rather hot so hat, sunscreen and water are essential….oh yes, and binocs!
Petroglyphs: Right at the Main Ranch House on the bluff above the river; check them out.
Sitting, Birding & Visiting:  Bring your favorite portable chairs.  There is shade and good birds from chairs right at the “Cook Shack”… a few years ago, a fabulous golden eagle flew-low– right over all of us at the picnic!
Eating:  SAS’ “usual” spot in the “Cook Shack” is our site at the Ranch. The picnic is around 11-11:30 AM.   Depends upon Jim and Andree’ and how fast the coals get ready.
Amenities:  We will have our own SAS Port O Potties available-helps out the AZ Game & Fish folks who are having to put up with creaky pipes and systems at the Ranch.
Sign up by e mailing Karen directly at Please reserve your space(s) so we can make sure we have enough supplies!!