- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Varied Thrush

Wow! Stunning bird, this one, right up there with the best. The place was Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, which I suppose has become my local patch of late. Not that I found this beauty myself; it had been present for several days and I knew where to look. It took a while to give itself up, offering tantalizing flight views and a quick dash across the path before finally coming out to feed on the one clear, sunlit area available. Could have been a bit closer, but that’s just being greedy.

I spent a while looking for a Swamp Sparrow at the Hidden Pond to no avail. I was largely concentrating on the thrush search, but a few of the regulars wandered into range.

In a bid to boost the year list, I went to Fort Lowell Park and, sure enough, Hooded Merganser was added with ridiculous ease. This is a good place to photograph ducks, as the pond is tiny and whatever ducks present are well used to people. In fact, they come right over as they assume you’ve got bread for them. They even followed two small boys who were throwing stones at them!