Birding Blog Archives

August 26th, 2010
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Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson

Blue-Dasher-Sweetwater-Wetlands-10-0826-01Blue-Dasher-Sweetwater-Wetlands-10-0826-12I thought I’d wallow awhile at Sweetwater this afternoon in search of a Worm-eating Warbler discovered this morning by Jerry Bock. I was sidetracked by the incredible amount of dragonflies to be found and photographed on a relatively cool afternoon but I still found some notable birds and it felt as though fall passerine migration was really getting underway.

Blue-Dasher-Sweetwater-Wetlands-10-0826-13Blue-Dasher-Sweetwater-Wetlands-10-0826-04Hidden Pond was quiet but I did stumble upon an impressive flock along the southern edge of Sweetwater, between the main ponds and the recharge basins, especially in the vicinity of the porta-potty south of the Overlook Pond. The mesquites and palo verdes were teeming with birds, which included an interesting low-elevation HERMIT WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, MacGILLIVRAY’S, ORANGE-CROWNED, several WILSON’S and scads of Blue-Dasher-Sweetwater-Wetlands-10-0826-08Blue-eyed-Darner-Sweetwater-10-0826-03YELLOW WARBLERS, a family party of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, an immature male BULLOCK’S ORIOLE and both WARBLING and CASSIN’S VIREOS. Wow! It wasn’t easy to see everything so I spent a while crouched underneath the bushes, watching what passed by. At one point a bird roughly the color of a Worm-eating Warbler popped up for half a second but I didn’t see it again. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the boy.

Rat-Sweetwater-10-0826-01Hermit-Warbler-Sweetwater-10-0826-01On the recharge basins the shorebird activity was quite high, although I only had binoculars so I may have missed a few. Three SOLITARY SANDPIPERS were on basin 6, along with SPOTTED SANDPIPER and a presumed WHITE-FACED IBIS. Around basins 7 & 8 there were lots of BLACK-NECKED STILTS, quite a few WILSON’S PHALAROPES, LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, two LESSER YELLOWLEGS and single GREATER YELLOWLEGS, AMERICAN AVOCET and NEOTROPIC CORMORANT. Ducks included REDHEAD, GADWALL and a significant increase in CINNAMON TEAL.

Fiery-Skipper-Sweetwater-10-0826-02Mexican-Amberwing-Sweetwater-10-0826-05TROPICAL KINGBIRDS were in evidence, with a family party around the ponds and more on Roger Road. One feature of the afternoon was the number of BLACK PHOEBES present, the most I’ve seen there (or anywhere) in ages. A conservative estimate would be more than 20 individuals.

Map of ponds and basins at: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/images/stories/places/Sweetwater_Site_Map.pdf

Reakirts-Blue-Sweetwater-10-0826-05Western-Pygmy-Blue-Sweetwater-10-0826-02Roseate-Skimmer-Sweetwater-10-0826-03spider-Sweetwater-10-0826-01spider-Sweetwater-10-0826-03Wilsons-Warbler-Sweetwater-10-0826-012Tropical-Kingbird-Sweetwater-10-0826-01

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