Marana is quickly becoming a birders’ paradise.
Thanks to overflow from the Santa Cruz River, a disc golf course near Continental Ranch now doubles as a gathering area for birds, including white-fronted geese, snow geese, Say’s phoebes, vermilion flycatchers and several duck and swallow species.
The site includes upland Sonoran Desert habitat, where hawks and falcons fly along the ridge of the Tucson Mountains as well as riparian and grassland areas.
The water eroded a berm, allowing a portion of the river to run through the gravel pits before returning to the main river channel downstream.
To reach the site, exit I-10 at Twin Peaks Road and go west about a mile. Turn right onto Coachline Boulevard and follow it about a mile, past Oak Stream Road. In less than 2/10ths of a mile, turn right onto a dirt road at a utility building with a blue roof. Follow the dirt road a short distance. Walk over the large berm by the parking area to access El Rio Open Space.