Thursday morning I got out early to the Cienega at Arivaca, one of my favorite birding locations. Here I found Hermit Warblers, Orange-Crowned Warblers, Lucy’s Warblers, Brewer’s Sparrows, Vermilion Flycatchers, Cassin‘s Kingbirds, Say’s Phoebes, Mourning Doves, Bewick’s Wrens, Gila Woodpeckers, Canyon Towhees, Northern Cardinals, Hepatic Tanagers, White-Winged Doves, Yellow-Breasted Chats, Swainson’s Hawks, Ladder-Backed Woodpeckers, Song Sparrows, Dusky-Capped Flycatchers, a drab gray, silent empid resembling a Western Wood-Pewee, Broad-Billed Hummingbirds, Anna’s Hummingbirds, Black-Chinned Hummingbirds, Greater Roadrunners, a Calliope Hummingbird who sat nicely for a portrait, Rufous-Crowned Sparrows, Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Brown-Headed Cowbird, Bullock’s Oriole, and Gray Hawk.
I drove away from the Cienega late in the morning, believing I’d met all the birds I could. On my exit from town and making way west toward home, the valley had one more treat for me. Three Gray Hawks were soaring low over Arivaca Creek and I could not resist pulling over to take pictures. There was no time to set up my tripod, something I always prefer to do, so I handheld my big, heavy rig and hoped for the best.
This stop marked the end of a most rewarding expedition through the fruitful birdlands of Arizona. I didn’t get to visit the Huachucas, the Chiricahuas, Patagonia or Tubac. I didn’t have the time. Even so, my collection of bird species images has increased nicely. I’ll be adding to my Bird Gallery and updating existing sets and adding new ones. New species for me from this trip are Red-Faced Warbler, Olive Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Brown-Crested Flycatcher, Black-Capped Gnatcatcher, Hepatic Tanager, and Gray Hawk. Other species I reacquainted myself with and allowed me to gather especially satisfying images were the Vermillion Flycatcher, Greater Roadrunner (especially at Sabino Canyon), Lucy’s Warbler and the Calliope Hummingbird.