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May 25th, 2011
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Mt Lemmon, Sweetwater Wetlands

I spent a very productive day birding with Kelly Johnson from Vancouver, WA. In the morning we went into the Santa Catalina mountains.

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Saguaro

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Tucson from Babad Do’ag viewpoint

Molino Canyon gave us close views of WHITE-THROATED SWIFT as well as BROAD-TAILED, BLACK-CHINNED, BROAD-BILLED and vocalizing COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRDS. The latter two were vigorously chasing a BELL’S VIREO for some reason.

Molino Basin produced double figures of BLUE-GRAY and a pair of BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS (which seemed a little out of place) plus HOODED ORIOLE and SUMMER TANAGER.

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Molino Basin

Bear Canyon had HAIRY WOODPECKER, BUSHTIT, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO and a well-received life bird for Kelly, a dazzling PAINTED REDSTART.

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Yellow-eyed Junco

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Tucson from Windy Vista viewpoint

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Rock Wren

Rose Canyon Lake was very birdy, especially around the amphitheater just below the parking lot nearest the lake. Several GREATER PEWEES were in song, a stunning pair of OLIVE WARBLERS were the biggest hit of the day, whilst others included GRACE’S WARBLER, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, PINE SISKIN and CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER.

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Grace’s Warbler

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Olive Warbler

HERMIT THRUSHES were singing at an otherwise quiet Marshall Gulch early afternoon. We were entertained over lunch by several CLIFF CHIPMUNKS which were partial to raisins.

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Cliff Chipmunk

We came back down to Tucson and bombed around Sweetwater Wetlands quickly to end the day. Species here included continuing migrant OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and SWAINSON’S THRUSH. A male NORTHERN SHOVELER looks like it will summer, as do several pairs of CINNAMON TEAL. A NEOTROPIC CORMORANT was perched by the westernmost pond, a BLACK-NECKED STILT on the recharge basins and a few TROPICAL KINGBIRDS were scattered around. We saw a TREE SWALLOW but didn’t linger to watch where it went. We did better locating the HARRIS’S HAWK nest in the usual eucalyptus outside Roger Road WTP.

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Neotropic Cormorant

A fine day in the field with 83 species and excellent company. Thanks Kelly!

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