November 4, 2016

We were in Tucson for a long weekend spanning from the end of October to the beginning of November.  We saw some birds we’d seen there almost two years ago:  Cactus Wrens, a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, a Vermilion Flycatcher, Verdins, Gila Woodpeckers, and Gilded Flickers.  We also saw some new birds this time:  a few Pyrrhuloxias, a Say’s Phoebe, Rock Wrens, a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, a Curve-billed Thrasher, several Greater Roadrunners, plus a pink-sided Dark-eyed Junco and a Chipping Sparrow.  And there were birds familiar to Florida:  House Finches,  Northern Mockingbirds, Red-tailed Hawks, a Loggerhead Shrike.   We saw these birds on short walks at Saguaro National Park (east) and Molino Basin, on Mt. Lemmon.

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Say’s Phoebe

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Saguaro National Park (east)

We also went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where a funny thing happened on our way to see the 2:00 p.m. Raptor Free Flight show:  My better half spotted two Cooper’s Hawks with prey up in a tree.

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Cooper’s Hawks, with Cactus Wren

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Cooper’s Hawk with Cactus Wren

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Barn Owl (one of the beauties at the 2:00 Raptor Free Flight show)

On our first day back in Jacksonville, I saw the season’s first Hermit Thrush in our back yard, taking a series of baths in the bubbler in the late afternoon as the light was fading.  It is good to go, and it is good to come back.