Limited to EIGHT (8) ~ ONE (1) spot left for a female due to lodging situation
This all-inclusive (double-occupancy), 5-night Birds & Bats of SE Arizona Photo Tour offers loads of action for your lenses, including birds you’ll find nowhere else in the United States. Overall, Southeastern Arizona boasts nearly 250 avian species.
This region is known as one of the most vibrant hummingbird places in the United States and the tiny speedsters will certainly be one of our main subjects. Fifteen species of hummers have been seen at the Santa Rita Lodge, where we spend our first three nights. (Our other two nights will be at Amado Territory Inn B&B, which is close to the site of the Pond at Elephanthead, where we do many of our photo shoots.)
We’ll take advantage of the area’s winged variety throughout the photo tour. Our journey will include visits to and lodging at privately-owned locations where birds are fed year-round.
One of our destinations is the famous Pond at Elephanthead. At this awesome photographer-friendly site, the owner keeps blinds, perches, water features, feeding stations, and set-ups in place year-round. One of our shoots here takes place after dark so we can capture shots of bats swooping in for a drink.
Another of our destinations, nestled into Madera Canyon, is famous with birders and photographers alike for the variety of species it attracts. We’ll lodge there underneath its peaceful oaks, enjoying reprieve from the desert heat.
I’ll bring along all the high-speed flash equipment to photograph hummingbirds so you don’t have to! We aim to photograph Broad-billed, Rivoli’s (known until 2017 as the Magnificent), Black-chinned, Anna’s, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, and more.
This all inclusive (double-occupancy), 5-night photo tour has space for just eight (8) participants.
(Important Note: Details subject to change. Great photographic experiences will be our focus at all times!)
Tuesday, April 30th:
Meet at 12:00 noon at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. An afternoon here provides a wonderful overview of the native fauna of Arizona. Its aviaries (including a special hummingbird enclosure) feature free-flying birds and will give us plenty of photo ops.
And, while this tour focuses on bird photography, a visit to the museum wouldn’t be complete without checking out its botanical gardens. In 2013, TripAdvisor included the museum as one of the Top Ten Public Gardens in the United States. With over 1,200 plant species, you and your camera will find lots to check out. The cactus garden alone hosts hundreds of plants — both native species and those from throughout the Americas.
Following dinner, we’ll head to our lodging in the mountains.
Wednesday, May 1st:
Rise & shine & enjoy coffee & a self-made breakfast (not included, but your room comes complete with kitchenette; Green Valley has three grocery stores so you can buy the breakfast items you need there).
For our morning shoot, we’ll get started just outside our rooms. I’ll provide both multi-flash and natural light hummingbird photography setups. In addition, we’ll create images of other winged wonders that hang out here, including an entertaining flock of wild turkeys. In Madera Canyon, expect to photograph different species than at the desert blinds we’ll visit later in the tour.
For those wanting to learn how to create their own high-speed, multi-flash hummingbird photography set ups at home, I will spend some time showing how to do so.
Thursday, May 2nd:
We’ll spend another day photographing the abundant bird life in Madera Canyon. After breakfasting in your room at your own pace, enjoy another morning photo shoot dedicated to hummers. In addition, throughout the day you’ll be able to use my high-speed, multi-flash hummingbird photography set ups to your heart’s content.
Some may opt to join me for a hike in search of the Elegant Trogon up the canyon. Lunch & dinner will be enjoyed together down the mountain.
One-on-one image review and instruction provided as requested. Please do not be shy about making requests!
Friday, May 3rd:
Today begins with a dawn shoot at the Pond at Elephanthead. Since we’ll be getting up very early, you’ll probably want to bring some sort of breakfast to-go. After the shoot we return to our mountain lodge to check out then head to lunch down in the desert.
After lunch we’ll check in to our hotel in Amado & take a little time to relax. Then we head back to the desert photo blinds to photograph until dark.
We’ll enjoy dinner together at one of the region’s best restaurants following the final shoot of the day. Either this evening or the next, we’ll set up our cameras for PhotoTrap bat photography.
Saturday, May 4th:
Our B&B will put out some basic breakfast items so you can grab a quick bite before heading out. Today’s first shoot takes place early-morning at the same special spot as yesterday — the private photo blinds designed and maintained for wildlife photography.
After our morning shoot, we’ll grab some lunch, return to our rooms for a break. I’ll do image reviews and one-on-ones for those who request it.
We’ll do another evening/afternoon shoot to take advantage of that sweet light then dine out for dinner.
Sunday, May 5th:
Wake up in your comfortable room. Since we won’t be heading to an early-morning photo shoot, you’ll get to enjoy the full B&B breakfast (included). Then pack and prepare to head home. Travel safely & thanks so much for Exploring in Focus with me!
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THIS TOUR:
- To create high-speed, multi-flash hummingbird photography set-ups
- How to photograph hummingbirds in natural light
- Tips on songbird photography
- PhotoTrap tips
- How to pan with moving wildlife
- Exposure tips for photographing birds & wildlife in speckled lighting
- How to get smooth backgrounds with bird photography
A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs. Please do not be shy about telling me what you need.
- At least eight (8) photo-shoots
- My one-on-one assistance, instruction, & guidance throughout your tour
- Image review & critique (as requested)
- Lesson on how to create high-speed, multi-flash hummingbird photography set ups
- Private photography ranch access & fees
- Entry into the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
- Use of multi-flash set ups to your heart’s content
- Lunches & dinners, snacks, & beverages from dinner on Tuesday evening, April 30 through dinner on Saturday evening, May 4.
- Five (5) nights lodging (double-occupancy)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
Transportation to, from, or during tour (we can carpool as desired), breakfast while at the Santa Rita Lodge, alcoholic beverages, laundry service, your own room, and tips (optional).
LOGISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SUCH:
There are minimal physical requirements for this tour. Your vehicle will be parked close to the photo blinds. Hummingbird photography will be done near your room in the mountains.
Those wanting a little more physical activity will have lots of great trails to choose from in the Madera Canyon area. If you’re wanting to go in search of the Elegant Trogon you’ll need to be able to traverse rutted dirt trails that go uphill.
GETTING THERE / TRANSPORTATION:
The nearest airport & car rental is Tuscon International Airport (airport code: TUS).
Phoenix provides another great option for those flying & renting a car. The airport there is called Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Its airport code is PHX.
Interstate 10 connects Tuscon & Phoenix via an easy drive that will take you about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Click on this EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) to see what equipment I suggest you bring along. You do NOT have to own it all nor bring it all. If you have any questions about suitable or minimum equipment needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DATE: April 30 – May 4, 2019 ~ NOTE: Lodging the night of May 4th is included in your tour so you won’t actually depart until the morning of May 5th.
- SPACE FOR: Eight (8) ~ ONE (1) spot left for a female
- PRICE: $2295 ~ ALL-INCLUSIVE (double-occupancy)
- DEPOSIT: $500.00
- FINAL PAYMENT DUE:: 60 days before start of tour