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February 7th, 2013
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Urban Birding with David Lindo

I had the pleasure of joining David Lindo, the Urban Birder, on a birding trip to Sweetwater Wetlands. We were joined by photographer Sharon Cavanagh, Deb Vath,  Linda Greene, Sharon Arkin and Richard Bailhe.

We didn’t find anything spectacularly rare but we enjoyed many of the familiar birds of Sweetwater, some of which David had only seen once or twice before. We had views of LINCOLN’S and SONG SPARROWS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, SORA, HARRIS’S HAWK, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW and plenty more.

Harris-s-Hawk-Sweetwater-13

There was a good selection of ducks, including BLUE-WINGED, CINAMMON and GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL and a lovely male BUFFLEHEAD. Shorebirds included the wintering SOLITARY SANDPIPER as well a few LEAST SANDPIPERS and BLACK-NECKED STILTS and a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER.

Northern-Flicker-SweetwaterThe most interesting sighting was watching a NORTHERN FLICKER chasing and attacking a EUROPEAN STARLING right in front of us. The starling was apparently nesting in a hole in a cottonwood, and the flicker was very interested in what was going on inside. Was the big woodpecker trying to take eggs or young? If it was, it didn’t succeed.

We did get David a new bird, an ‘armchair tick’ in the form of COMMON GALLINULE, as David hadn’t realized it was split from Common Moorhen recently.

After lunch we visited Tucson Audubon Society’s Mason Center, where Kendall Kroesen and Jennie McFarland gave us a brief tour of the beautiful Ironwood desert habitat.

A very pleasant day – thanks everyone.

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