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May 19th, 2011
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Blackpoll Warbler at Sweetwater

News of a Blackpoll Warbler got me out to Sweetwater Wetlands. Although it’s a very rare bird in Arizona, I’d seen one at Sweetwater before, in 2007. However, this was a singing male in spring, a handsome bird. I’d never seen one in that plumage, having only seen first-year birds in autumn in Arizona and a couple of times in Britain where they are equally rare.

I arrived around 5:20 and walked straight to the SE corner, where the bird was relocated after being found originally by the stream. It was windy and difficult to see warblers in the large willows and cottonwoods on that corner of the wetlands. But sure enough, they were in there and after a while I found the BLACKPOLL WARBLER, in exactly the spot described. It was foraging silently, mostly in the lower branches of the largest tree overhanging the southern end of Willow Pond (#3 on this map of Sweetwater Wetlands). It was loosely associating with four TOWNSEND’S WARBLERS, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and a WARBLING VIREO.


Blackpoll Warbler


Blackpoll Warbler


Blackpoll Warbler


Blackpoll Warbler

Also seen in a brief walk round, an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, at least four WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES, several WESTERN TANAGERS, HARRIS’S HAWK, etc. There were only a few SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and the resident KILLDEERS on the recharge basins.


Song Sparrow


Sweetwater Wetlands


1 comment to Blackpoll Warbler at Sweetwater

  • Carol Helming

    I love the photos with the reports–it really helps. Where in Madera Canyon was the bird mentioned in one of the listings?

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