Green's Peak, Greer, Springerville
22 Aug 2011, 12:46 AM,
Green's Peak, Greer, Springerville
On August 19, 2011, my family and I went on a day-trip over to the White Mountains. We started off heading south from US 60 on FR 117 to Green's Peak, stopping at a few of the spur roads to walk around. We encountered the typical birds of mixed conifer forests, although in the grassland/pinyon-juniper mixture on the north side of the road I thought I might have heard a distant Montezuma Quail.

As we were heading towards Greer, the storm clouds were pushing through with lots of rain along SR 260. It was amazing to see that hummingbirds were still trying to visit the roadside flowers despite the pelting rain drops. Upon arriving in Greer, we could see that it was mostly the mountainsides above the town that had the highest severity burn from this summer's Wallow Fire. The riparian habitat down below appeared to all be intact. In Greer, we walked along the Fir Trail at the Squirrel Springs Recreation Area and checked out the three reservoirs (Tunnel, River, and Bunch Reservoirs). Birding was slow at all of the spots with the rainy weather, but the array of flowers everywhere was a nice consolation prize. At River Reservoir, a highlight was an adult BALD EAGLE. The only shorebirds we encountered at the reservoirs were Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer. Lastly, we checked the feeders at the Molly Butler Lodge/restaurant in 'downtown' Greer, but just had the usual hummingbirds.

We looped through Springerville before heading back to Heber, stopping at the Becker Lake Wildlife Area (both the lake and the adjacent nature trail along the Little Colorado River). Birding was slow in the mid-afternoon here too, with the only real highlight being a young striped skunk that burst out of the shrubbery 5 ft in front of me and scampered down the river bank.

Here are the lists for each area described above:

FR 117/Green's Peak
Red-tailed Hawk
Rufous Hummingbird
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Steller's Jay
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Mountain Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Rock Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Bullock's Oriole
Brewer's Blackbird
Red Crossbill

Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle (1)
Spotted Sandpiper
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Western Wood-Pewee
Empidonax spp.
Say's Phoebe
Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Pygmy Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
American Robin
Western Bluebird
MacGillivray's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Green-tailed Towhee
Red Crossbill
Lesser Goldfinch

Becker Lake Wildlife Area
Pied-billed Grebe
American Coot
Rufous Hummingbird
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Western Meadowlark
Bullock's Oriole
Lesser Goldfinch

Good birding!!!
Eric Hough

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