Wednesday 5/29/2013 – Despite all good intentions I have not kept up with this blog through the past spring. It has been four months since I posted here. Though there have been many wonderful experiences to write about, it was all I could do to keep up with my eBird records. I still have a pile of photographs to sort through, label, and if appropriate post on Flicker. My new intention will be to keep up this blog with my current adventures and slowly over time try to capture some of the highlights of the past season.
Speaking of current adventures – Joe Hammond picked me up around 07:00 this morning for a few hours of birding in Florida Canyon. Joe is moving back to Ohio in a few weeks and this was to be our farewell excursion together. Florida Canyon is about fifteen minutes from my home outside of Green Valley. This small canyon has been the home of multiple Rufous-capped Warblers for the past several years and frequently harbors Black-capped Gnatcatchers and other interesting creatures. The last time I saw the Rufous-capped Warblers was more than three weeks ago when clients and myself observed probable nesting behavior. I hid my eBird checklist out of concern that some birders might seek out these beautiful little birds by using playback. Today, I hoped that Joe and I would find a happy little family of Rufous-capped Warblers, parents and some fledglings. Not this morning. Never the less it was an interesting and fun morning. Upon getting out of Joe’s vehicle at the trailhead parking lot, we both heard a Gray Hawk calling. Gray Hawks are not really rare in this part of Pima County however within the eBird world it is a county rarity. The hike up to the warbler spot (where I believed they were nesting) was rather uneventful except for the second year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that stopped to perch on an exposed branch in front of us. . We also saw three “Western” Flycatchers of which one called and revealed that it was a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. One of the two Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets we heard responded to pishing and gave us some nice views & some decent photo-ops.
We stopped at one of the pools of water remaining in the streambed and watched a small swarm of blue butterflies and several aquatic bugs. We must of looked like a couple of little school boys playing in the water with sticks trying to make the caddis fly larvae move. That will be one of the things I’ll miss the most about Joe. He is fascinated with all forms of life. For Joe it is not just about the birds, it is about the web of life. I hope I am able to remind myself of this in Joe’s absence.
eBird checklist at: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14283642