Friday, March 4, 2011

Bajada Nature Trail in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve

A packrat nest at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
The Bajada Trail is a half-mile loop interpretive trail, uber ADA accessible, in the beautiful McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  The Preserve has the lush Sonoran desert flora and fauna that I love - saguaros, prickly pear, teddy bear cholla (not as cuddly as it sounds), ocotillo, barrel cactus,  and creosote shrubs that give the desert that wonderful sweet smell after a monsoon storm.  Cactus Wren, Hummingbirds, and Gila Woodpeckers can be heard everywhere.  But on this morning the area is abuzz with people on their morning power-walks.  Unless I count chicks-with-cellphones as a new avian species, my bird count is quite low.  Here's a list of what you might see in the Sonoran Preserve, at less busy times:  Turkey Vulture, Red-Tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, White-Winged Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Western Screech Owl, Common Poorwill,Gila Woodpecker,Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Rock Wren, Loggerhead Shrike, Bendire's Thrasher, Curve-Billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Northern Cardinal, Bell's Vireo, Lucy's Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Ground Dove, Annas Hummingbird, Broadbilled Hummingbird, Great-Tailed Grackle, Harris' Hawk, Gambel's Quail, Great-Homed Owl, Elf Owl, Burrowing Owl, and Lesser Nighthawk.

The Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Assoc. will be hosting a nature walk on the Bajada Trail on Saturday, March 26th, from 9 to 11 am, and a landscape photography seminar will be lead by Loren Worthington - photographer/editor for Bring your camera and explore amateur photography!  To register for this free event, please call the AzSCIA at 602-507-4209.  See

The Bajada Nature Trail is in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, near the Gateway Trailhead,  east of Thompson Peak Parkway between Bell Road and Union Hills Drive.  For more trail info go to and be sure to see Accessing Arizona's review of the Bajada Trail.

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