I met Drena and Jeff Meyer at Mary Jo’s wonderful Ash Canyon B&B  for a day of SE Arizona birding. As always, Ash Canyon was excellent and before long Mary Jo spotted a smart adult male LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD among the hordes coming to her feeders. A female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD was also picked out, and other birds such as SCOTT’S ORIOLE, CANYON TOWHEE and ACORN WOODPECKER were added to the list before we headed out. A beautiful big SONORAN GOPHERSNAKE was crossing Turkey Track Rd.
We went to San Pedro House for our morning’s birding. Maintained by Friends of the San Pedro River , this world-class birding site is a productive combination of grassland and prime cottonwood riparian habitat with a flowing river and large ponds. It’s an important site for people and wildlife, but it’s currently under threat from a frivolous lawsuit  by someone who fell off their own horse there. Let’s hope that common senses prevails…
The birding was good from the start, with COMMON GROUND-DOVE and COOPER’S HAWK by the house. SWAINSON’S HAWK, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE and BREWER’S, VESPER and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS were in the grassland, taking advantage of the plentiful insects.
Along the river, migration was evident. There were quite a few LAZULI BUNTINGS, with one or two BLUE GROSBEAKS and a tatty INDIGO BUNTING. Other migrants included OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, HOUSE WREN and NASHVILLE WARBLER. GRAY HAWKS were vocal, while other birds included SONG, LINCOLN’S and CHIPPING SPARROW, ABERT’S and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGER.
We took our lunches to Ramsey Canyon and enjoyed them at a picnic table under a huge tree. After lunch we walked up canyon and completed the Bledsoe Loop. We saw some interesting wildlife, such as baby deer, MADREAN ALLIGATOR LIZARD, a YARROW’S SPINY LIZARD that gets its own post, butterflies including RED-SPOTTED ADMIRAL and RED-BORDERED SATYR and GREAT SPREADWING damselfy. But from a birding point of view it was unbelievably quiet. We literally saw no birds at all from leaving the parking lot until we had almost got back to the visitor center a couple of hours later. We heard an ARIZONA WOODPECKER but there were no other birds of note.
A quick stop at the Sierra Vista EOP produced a calling SORA and good numbers of BREWER’S, YELLOW-HEADED and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.