With an early start (5 a.m.) from my place in AJ, Lois Lorenz and I tackled a 7-hour birding day with gusto. Due to the forecast of Pacific Hurricane Bud bringing us some much-needed rain (and wind) on Friday evening into Saturday, I had canceled our plan for an overnight to bird more extensively along the I-19 Corridor and over to Patagonia.
A good 7:00 a.m. start at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson under a dark overcast sky provided us with 33 species in an hour even though we saw zero Kingbirds. (surprising to me)
To be greeted by a GREATER ROADRUNNER gave us a good vibe for how our walk might go.
|Distant GREATER ROADRUNNER|
A bright red male SUMMER TANAGER, several VERMILION FLYCATCHERs (family of male, female, young), and the sound of a minimum of six (6) COMMON YELLOWTHROATS kept us feeling good about birding under the dark sky.
eBird checklist link for Sweetwater: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46575109
* * *
Since we kept seeing nifty birds, I was disinclined to return to our starting point, although that might have proven helpful. When we had walked the trail next to the train tracks for way over 3/4 of a mile - to the GRAY HAWK, past the golf course to some wild horses, Lois convinced me that we might benefit from re-tracing with more attention to the detail of the trail!
|GRAY HAWK keeping us company during much of our amble|
Two birds I did manage to photograph at the start of the trail were: GREATER ROADRUNNER AND VERMILION FLYCATCHER, below.
|GREATER ROADRUNNER (above and below)|
|Assumed Wild Horses - unrestricted in any way and came into the forest where we were walking|
eBird Link for Tubac deAnza Trail: View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46575570
* * *
Next stop was Amado Waste Treatment Pond along I-19. Easily accessible off the Access Road, we stayed only a short time to find a handful of birds, including two BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS that I had missed time and again this year at other spots in the West Valley of Phoenix.
|BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKs|
Note its red/orange bill, white eyeing, gray face, black belly and long pink legs
Driving farther north on I-19, our next stop was Madera Canyon's Santa Rita Lodge bird-feeding station. After our 2.5 mile walk on the deAnza Trail, it felt good to sit for awhile!
|Male BLUE GROSBEAK|
|VARIED BUNTING - male|
|WILD TURKEYs that come to the feeding station like all the other birds|
With no birds left on our list to top the ELEGANT TROGON, we headed for home, arriving around 5 p.m. - twelve hours after our 5 a.m. departure. Great day!!
eBird links for Madera Cyn: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46575950
* * *