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.


Say’s Phoebe


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.


Cooper’s Hawks, with Cactus Wren


Cooper’s Hawk with Cactus Wren


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.