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.
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.
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.