Hooked on Birds! – Patagonia

with Hans and Lisa

From Quartzsite we made a quick stop back at Casa Grande to do some of the mundane tasks of RV life after boondocking; flushing the black tank and doing laundry.  While there, we had a chance meeting with Hans and Lisa of  Metamorphosis Road, who recognized  me through my blog.  Isn’t blogging so cool!  Sharing our travel tales has connected us with so many like-minded RV travelers on the road.  To top it all, both Hans and Steve were in the Air Force at almost the same time during their younger days and  both worked in the Computer Operations field.  We definitely hope to meet up with these great folks again down the road.

Patagonia Lake State Park
Site # 10

We had heard a lot of good things about Patagonia Lake  State Park, which is tucked away in the rolling hills of southeastern Arizona.  It is about 150 miles southeast of Casa Grande and 60 miles southeast of Tucson, at an elevation of 3750′.  It took us about 2.5 hours to drive the beautiful highway 82 scenic route to get there.  The forecast going in was rain and wind over the next two days 😦

This park has been designated as an Important Birding Area by the Audubon Society – in short, we were going to see a lot of birds!  And that was the first thing I did by signing up for a bird walk tour – a mile-long walk on a flat area which lead down to the lake level where the birds are known to hang out.  Going with other birders, I learned a lot about birds in the region, like the fact that there are about three hundred varieties of birds known to live or migrate here.  The first bird I was introduced to was the Western Screech Owl.  If not for the guide we would have missed this little guy, comfortably perched and blending in with a tree trunk.

Western Screech Owl
Western Screech Owl


After three hours of gawking, peering into binoculars and identifying many birds, the group broke up a little disappointed, for we did not see the most exciting bird around, the Elegant Trogon.  This is the bird that lures many birdwatchers to come to southern Arizona just for a glimpse.

Bird Walk tour
Its fun to be with a group of bird watchers

But I continued on my own and followed the creek with anticipation.  After half an hour my patience paid off,  for there it was along the creek perching quietly on a branch.  With its brilliant metallic colors – black throat, an iridescent green head, breast, and back, and a red belly – this bird is lovely to watch.  Isn’t he gorgeous?   Yes, in birdland the males are sexier and colorful than the females as shown below, the front and back of a male Elegant Trogon.

Male Elegant Trogon
Male Elegant Trogon
Male Elegant Trogon
The back of the male Elegant Trogon

To see more of my other bird photos, click  here.

The day after my bird walk, the weather forecast of rain became a reality, for during the next two days it was pouring so we were housebound much of the time and made upcoming travel plans.  Even the scheduled Moonlight Hike was cancelled due to inclement weather.  Hmm, that would have been a first for us.

On the day of  our departure we had a watery surprise, a leak into one of our cabinets coming through the slide lock mechanism.  Well, that really made Steve’s morning.  It looked like water had pooled on top of the slide cover and then made its way through to the top of the slide where the lock mechanism resides.  Then it just came into the cabinet around the lock.  Steve went up to check the slide cover, and while trying to lift it he was rewarded with gallons of water right on his head.  OK, daily shower completed!  It looks like some sealing will have to be done up there, but we are just keeping an eye on it for now.

Next up, our last stop in Arizona – Tombstone.

But wait here is one more stunning capture, breaking dawn at Casa Grande.

Breaking Dawn
Breaking Dawn at Casa Grande


  1. I love owls! What a great find! That Trogon is beautiful. Is he really bright red on one side and lime green in the other? Glad you were patient and continued the search. Great reward:)

    Sorry to read about your leak:( There always seems to be something. Hopefully it was just a one time thing.

  2. Loved your bird photos. We will be in that area the early part of March so may have to check out a birding tour. Your last photo of Casa Grande at dawn was a killer. Hope you have no more water leaks. Certainly not the best way to take a shower. 🙂

    • Thank you, LuAnn. Steve woke me up that particular sunrise for it was really stunning. We are keeping an eye of the slide lock and not repairing it yet. We got rained on again in Tombstone but not as bad when we were in Patagonia.

  3. Can’t wait until we are in that part of AZ in late Feb. You are giving us great ideas!! We do some birding – what a great shot of the Trogan. Sorry about the leak – yuck.

  4. Bummer on that leak. Hope it’s nothing major. Your bird photos are awesome. Seems like a must see stop! Looking forward to hearing about your next direction. Keep those photos coming!

  5. If you are going to Tombstone then be sure to try and see Kartchner Caverns! Amazing place! While at Patagonia did you try any of the local vineyards? Not as good as Cali but still interesting.

    • Oh yes we did and Bisbee too. We kept your list. We missed the wineries at Patagonia, we allowed the rain to limit us. But we did not see any vineyards along h82 maybe they are tucked behind those hills.

  6. Hi Guys… we are thinking of heading to Patagonia St Park in early March. Do you know how the long pull through sites (3,4,5) in the East Campground look? Level? etc.. See you on the road??

  7. I LOVE your pursuant story!!! Always nice to hear it. Even greater that you were successful. That’s the right travel spirirt! Your bird shots collection is amazing! How I wish I’m the same who can always take the time and listen and notice birds. I find it hard for me to capture them in pictures. Elegant Trogon looks so awesome with the layers of colors. The owl, oh my, it’s so gorgeous, and it is amazingly blended with the tree. Owl is one of my dream sightings to take picture of.
    I met with LuAnn last weekend.

    • Thank you. Capturing birds in their natural habitat do require patience. Not only that Iam only using a point and shoot camera which fortunately capture them good. I only realized how the Elegant Trogon is really sought after by birders while here. So I persevere and was literally chasing this bird.
      Meeting LuAnn is on the list.

Comments are closed.