A Labor Day AZ trip (8/31-9/2/2013)

This is actually a relatively typical juvenile Gray Hawk. Nevertheless, it often takes a moment (or two) before it actually clicks since I don’t see this species very often. This particular bird was calling a lot (and another juvenile was responding).


At the Madera Canyon Lodge, the star of the show was this male Lucifer Hummingbird.



Overall a slowish trip with an even 140 species, but many misses. I was likely the last person to see the Blue-footed Booby at Patagonia State Park. The bird had started kettling with Turkey Vultures and was very high when I lost sight of it. Amazing that it was able to tolerate the boat traffic for so long. Hope he made it out alive.

Other highlights included 2 broods of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets (Patagonia SP), a long overdue Zone-tailed Hawk (along 82 north of Patagonia), a gnoma Northern Pygmy-Owl at Miller Canyon, a female Painted Bunting at Kino Springs and a single singing Cassin’s Sparrow at Sonoita Grasslands (just after sunset). I looked for a Brown Pelican in Tucson twice (at 2 different dreadful little parks), but came up empty. My “lifer” Rosy-faced Lovebird was easy to find near Encanto Park in Phoenix (near the airport).

The most magical moment came at Montosa Canyon in the middle of the day when I watched a family of Varied Buntings calmly feed near a little creek. The birds were completely unfazed by my presence and just went ahead with their business.



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