I spent a very productive day birding with Kelly Johnson from Vancouver, WA. In the morning we went into the Santa Catalina mountains.
Molino Canyon gave us close views of WHITE-THROATED SWIFT as well as BROAD-TAILED, BLACK-CHINNED, BROAD-BILLED and vocalizing COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRDS. The latter two were vigorously chasing a BELL’S VIREO for some reason.
Molino Basin produced double figures of BLUE-GRAY and a pair of BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS (which seemed a little out of place) plus HOODED ORIOLE and SUMMER TANAGER.
Bear Canyon had HAIRY WOODPECKER, BUSHTIT, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO and a well-received life bird for Kelly, a dazzling PAINTED REDSTART.
Rose Canyon Lake was very birdy, especially around the amphitheater just below the parking lot nearest the lake. Several GREATER PEWEES were in song, a stunning pair of OLIVE WARBLERS were the biggest hit of the day, whilst others included GRACE’S WARBLER, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, PINE SISKIN and CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER.
HERMIT THRUSHES were singing at an otherwise quiet Marshall Gulch early afternoon. We were entertained over lunch by several CLIFF CHIPMUNKS which were partial to raisins.
We came back down to Tucson and bombed around Sweetwater Wetlands quickly to end the day. Species here included continuing migrant OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and SWAINSON’S THRUSH. A male NORTHERN SHOVELER looks like it will summer, as do several pairs of CINNAMON TEAL. A NEOTROPIC CORMORANT was perched by the westernmost pond, a BLACK-NECKED STILT on the recharge basins and a few TROPICAL KINGBIRDS were scattered around. We saw a TREE SWALLOW but didn’t linger to watch where it went. We did better locating the HARRIS’S HAWK nest in the usual eucalyptus outside Roger Road WTP.
A fine day in the field with 83 species and excellent company. Thanks Kelly!