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January 23rd, 2011
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TAS Field Trip, Urban Tucson

I was joined by 21 enthusiastic Tucson Audubon field trippers, exploring urban Tucson and the great wildlife that can been found within our city. We started at Reid Park, which produced two GREAT EGRETS, a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, a NORTHERN FLICKER, the immature SNOW GOOSE with its ROSS’S hybrid friend and the opportunity to compare CANVASBACKS with a female REDHEAD.

We moved on to Kennedy Park. A pair of VERMILION FLYCATCHERS proved popular, as did a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, a large flock of BREWER’S BLACKBIRDS and a pair of AMERICAN KESTRELS. As we were walking towards the lake, the OSPREY was seen briefly between the trees, but by the time we could see the lake the Osprey was gone. The CANADA GOOSE was present, as was a good-sized flock of REDHEAD, a GREAT EGRET and a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON.

A quick stop at Sam Lena Park was productive. The rubber-lined pond had 12 HOODED MERGANSERS (4 males), a SPOTTED SANDPIPER and another GREAT EGRET, while the concrete-lined pond hosted a COMMON MERGANSER and a small flock of BUFFLEHEADS. A GREATER ROADRUNNER was a big hit.

We picked up some lunch and enjoyed it in the shade of a tree at Lakeside Park. The highlight here was an adult RING-BILLED GULL, while another GREAT EGRET made it five individuals at four sites.

Our final stop was the neighborhood southwest of Grant x Wilmot, in an attempt to locate the Short-tailed Hawk, but we were not successful. We did, however, see COOPER’S HAWKS at every site today, plus two more on the way home.

Many thanks to all the participants for making it a thoroughly enjoyable day.

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