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Copper Canyon Adventure

21-31 March 2003

Day 6: Cerocahui to Creel

All photographs ©2003 by Mary Beth Stowe

We were up bright and early for another woodcreeper hunt, and he didn’t disappoint: they were calling almost right from the beginning, and one came in close enough for pictures! (I hope—the silly viewfinder kept fogging up...) The Arizona Woodpecker wasn’t as cooperative, unfortunately, but a walk up the road got us good looks at old favorites like Greater Pewee, a Hammond’s Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, and Eastern Bluebird; a calling Northern Flicker was new for the trip. A Mountain Pygmy Owl responded to Barry’s tape but wouldn’t come in. Had a much more cooperative Canyon Towhee pose on a bush, however.

                           

The endemic White-striped Woodcreeper, and the not-so-endemic Rock Wren

We had a great breakfast wherein Barry told some war stories at Ethel’s prompting!  Afterwards we went up a little side canyon that was absolutely gorgeous, picking up swifts and swallows, another agitated redstart, and a pipping Hammond’s Flycatcher (I told Barry later that it reminded me of a P-Nut’s "pip"). A Brown Creeper sang on the way back, and we paused to watch Hermando, our driver, break one of their horses! His house was right across the street in the area we had walked in the night before; wasn’t much to look at, but it probably had all the necessities—can you imagine living in a gorgeous place like that??

      

Scenes along the canyon in back of the lodge

    

                                                                                                                Watching a Painted Redstart by the stream

These neat rows of holes were drilled by a Red-naped Sapsucker!

           

Habitat along the tracks at the station

After that we got packed and loaded up the bus, but didn’t get far cuz the drive shaft broke! Fortunately another tourist bus came by and took some of us on, while the truck with the luggage took the rest (ironically, Hermano got the thing going even before we loaded up and beat us to the train station!). We were early, so some of us took a little walk down the tracks. Unfortunately the train was also early, and I just barely made it back in time! We moseyed up to the dining car not long after that where lunch was slow in coming, but that was okay cuz it gave us a chance to get to chat!

         

Dave takes a walk before the train comes, while a Turkey Vulture flies overhead. 

     

Shortly after that we had a 15 minute break at a spectacular overlook (evidently the "Copper Canyon", interestingly a misnomer as there are no copper mines anywhere in the area; someone just liked the name), then headed on in to Creel, where we picked up a pair of Say’s Phoebes at the station! We rolled in to the Best Western, got checked in, and boy did it feel good to take a shower in a traditional bathroom! Did laundry after that, then caught up on the journal. Dinner was great, with a group of dancing kids who did a great job showing off the native dances and even got some of us into the act (I wanted to get fancy and paid for it by winding up on the floor—and that was after only one margarita...)!

     

The Copper Canyon, and a restaurant (?) on a precarious perch

    

Group shot at the gawking spot

       

On to Creel...   

                      

Map of the whole train route with Say's Phoebe at Creel

Continue to "Cusarare Falls"

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