For Treks led by Arch McCallum

2020 Bird Trek Arizona
May 16-24, 2020

Start and end at Tucson airport

This is a new program, which will be a uniquely Gulch-style contribution to the Birding Tour industry. The 2020 Bird Trek itinerary is similar to the Flocks and Rocks itinerary for 2018, so see the 2018 documents for information on what to expect. The pre-trip analysis shows the data I used to plan that itinerary, with detail on each stop. You can compare the predictions to what we actually found, in the diary or more exactly in the observations spreadsheet. I will calculate the probabilities of seeing each species on our 2020 trip in the same way. The analysis will be linked on this page, and everyone who has enrolled will receive a heads-up by email. If you have suggestions or questions about the itinerary, or about the birds we will see, contact birdtrek at For all other questions, contact the Cottonwood Gulch office. Their phone number during the winter is 505-248-0563. If you know you are interested in this trek you can probably skip the "request for information" link on the Bird Trek Arizona page. If you need help with the application form feel free to contact me.

Itinerary Spreadsheet

Download and open this document on your computer. It will not open in a browser window. This spreadsheet reports the intended campsite for every night and some of the birds to be sought each day. Please note that this trek will not go west of Tucson, so Crested Caracara and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl are not expected to be encountered. Check the amenities column to see if this trip is too spartan for your tastes. Despite the paucity of showers, the birding will be great. And remember, our fully outfitted commissary truck carries plenty of water. For more information, here's what we expect to see and learn.

2020 Flocks and Rocks Trek
June 6-14, 2020

Start and end at Albuquerque (ABQ), NM Airport

Enrollment for the 2020 Flocks and Rocks Trek is now open. Follow the Link to sign up. Our main objective is experiencing the places in the White Mountains of Arizona immortalized by Aldo Leopold in his seminal A Sand County Almanac. On the way, we will spend two nights at the edge of the Rio Grande Valley. We'll encounter a great variety of bird habitats and should see close to 100 species. The geology offers much variety, starting with the Rio Grand Rift, then the Basin and Ranges Province, and finally a brief taste of the Colorado Plateau on our final day. More information.

Itinerary Spreadsheet

2019 Flocks and Rocks Trek
June 1-9, 2019

Heavy winter snowpack made it impossible for us to visit the higher elevations on our intended itinerary. We stayed low, visiting Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, and in Utah Snow Canyon State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park. Most of the typical birds of mid-elevations and sagebrush desert were seen, and the geology was spectacular. A summary of Ebird lists is forthcoming.

Itinerary Spreadsheet

2018 Flocks and Rocks Trek

Flocks and Rocks 18 originated in Tucson and first headed west to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We then took most of our week proceeding to the Chiricahua Mountains, on the eastern fringe of the state, sampling desert riparian habitats in the Patagonia district and montane forests and canyons of the Huachucas. We ended up with the world-class limestone structures of Kartchner Caverns State Park.

2018 Pre-Trip Analysis of What to Expect

Detailed Itinerary
Methods Used to Create Spreadsheet

The itinerary document tells where we intended to go. As you will see from the diary, we deviated little from this plan, except for the addition of the Santa Cruz River bosque, which was a very good addition. This document contains a link to the explanation of the data handling that produced the spreadsheet. You can also link to it from here. It tells you how to read the spreadsheet, which gives the probability of seeing each species at each site. It then uses these probabilities to reveal the best place to see each species and the overall probability of seeing each on the 9-day, 8-night trip. This spreadsheet should be useful to anyone planning a trip to southeastern Arizona in mid-May.

2018 Birding Diary, i.e., Trip Report

This is a webpage with a detailed description, and photographs, of where we went and what we did. It also gives the highlights of our birding activities. I didn't take notes and don't have a good enough memory to tell much about the geology, although I do have photographic evidence of John talking about geology on many occasions.

2018 Bird Observation Data (Spreadsheet)

Download and open this document on your computer. It will not open in a browser window. This spreadsheet reports extensively on the birding results of our trip. The raw data tab should be self-explanatory. It presents all data reported on the 40 EBird checklists that I submitted for our eight nights and nine days in the field. Some of these were solo efforts by me. The ZoneSums tab collates the raw data into zones that were defined before our trip. This tab gives a better picture of what to expect if one were to replicate our itinerary. The pre-trip analysis calculated the probability of seeing each species. The most unlikey species we saw was Rose-throated Becard, which we saw easily with the help of local birders Bill Lisowsky and Alan Schmierer. Several waterbirds were also highly unlikely. We claim we saw a Berylline Hummingbird, but it was not photographed and was not well enough described to persuade the authorities. Overall, we had very good luck and saw 127 species.

2017 Flocks and Rocks Trek

The inaugural Flocks and Rocks Trek followed the Rio Grande to Alamosa, Colorado, with a side trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park. We then traversed Georgia O'Keeffe Country to Albuquerque and headed out to our home base in the Zuni Mountains for the last three nights.

2017 Trip Report (pdf)

This is a pdf of a Word document. It describes each day of the trip in detail and includes some photos.

2017 Bird Observation Data (Spreadsheet)

This is a spreadsheet that collates 30 Ebird checklists that I submitted during and after the Trek. To use it, click the link, which will download it to your computer, then open it with Excel or other spreadsheet software. The Table of Group Sightings presents all sighting data from checklists compiled while the group was in the field. The Table of All Sightings also includes checklists I submitted for solo observations, DURING the FR Trek. Summary data and links to Ebird checklists are across the top.

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