Peregrine Bird Tours
Bird Tours
Peregrine Bird Tours

Utah and Arizona Birdwatching Tour

Utah and Arizona Birdwatching Tour
When: Wed 8 May - Thu 23 May 2019
Leaders: Chris Doughty and Mark Stackhouse
Utah and Arizonia Birdwatching Tour
Melbourne/Melbourne (16 Days) $9,820
Single Room Supplement $800
Ground Content (ex Salt Lake City) $8,420
The southwestern United States is a region of breath-taking landscapes; vast treeless plains, deep, river-cut canyons, high, forested plateaus and huge expanses of colourful sandstone, cut and carved in amazing fashion by wind and water. It is, without doubt, one of the most scenically varied and spectacular regions on earth. Featured in dozens of' 'westerns,' the rugged landscape epitomises the 'Wild West.' On this unique tour, we have combined exciting birding, epic landscapes and countless photographic opportunities. Despite an unforgiving climate of scorching heat, bitter cold, and very low rainfall, these deserts harbour an abundance of both animal and birdlife, which have successfully adapted, in order to survive in such harsh terrain. The tour coincides with the optimum season for birding, many birds will have reached their nesting territories and will be in full song, while a multitude of others, will still be on migration, heading for their breeding grounds, farther to the north. Our journey begins in Salt Lake City, on the shores of the huge Great Salt Lake, an absolute paradise for wetland-birds, situated at the foot of the snowcapped Wasatch Mountains. We then head south towards the canyons of the Colorado Plateau, visiting the awe-inspiring, brightly coloured rock pinnacles, canyons and ravines of Bryce Canyon National Park, the first of eight national parks and monuments we will visit during the tour. We will then enjoy Zion National Park, a magnificent chasm with vertical red and white walls, wooded canyon bottoms, and oddly sculpted sandstone buttes. Here we will have our first of several chances, to see the recently reintroduced California Condor. Leaving the canyons of southwestern Utah behind, we continue southwards into Arizona, where we will stand on the spectacular rim of the famous Grand Canyon. In the Ponderosa Pine forests that predominate along the rim of the canyon, we may find Steller's Jay, Pygmy Nuthatch and Grace's Warbler. We then visit Monument Valley, which was featured in many western movies, home to Rock Wren, Black-throated Sparrow and House Finch. Returning to Utah, we will visit some fascinating Anasazi ruins at Hovenweep National Monument. We will then visit two of the true marquee Utah parks, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. We will be astounded by spectacular sandstone formations, unlike any other in the world, and Turkey Vultures, White-throated Swifts and Common Ravens circle above the rock formations and Dark-eyed Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows forage amongst the scrub. We then reluctantly return to Salt Lake City. Birds are plentiful in both Utah and Arizona, and mammals are also well represented; we have a good chance of observing Desert Cottontail, Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Yellow-bellied Marmot, North American Red and Abert's Squirrels, White-tailed Prairie-Dog, Uinta Ground Squirrel, White-tailed Antelope Squirrel, Coyote, Red Fox, Pronghorn, American Bison, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Moose and Mule Deer.

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