Tuesday, May 08, 2007

April 30 - Tucson, AZ - Sweetwater Wetlands etc.

What's with the word "Sweetwater" ?.
I mean, I know it's called that to sugar-coat what it really is, but why "sweet?".
It's like "sweatbread", which is also covering the true name. Anyways, I digress.

I stopped here hoping to luck into some lifebirds, but missed them both. Tried to find a MacGillivrays' Warbler in the brush, but no migrants were seen here. And I dipped on the Franklin's Gulls, which although only singles, had been reported as recently as last week.

Harris' Hawk is the specialty of this park, and the expected bird was seen. Lesser Nighthawks hawked in the first morning light along with Rough-Winged & Cliff Swallows. An Olive-Sided Fly was my first in this State. I had a glimpse of Lazuli bunting & Bullock's Orioles here as well.

Next stop was Ina Road just down the interstate a bit. Just past the dam shorebirds such as White-Faced Ibis, Avocet, Black-Necked Stilts, Long-Billed Dowitchers and (uncommon for the area) Marbled Godwits did their thing.

A few Cinnamon Teal were up resting on a bar of rocks. And Spotted Sandpiper was seen.
I walked the western shoreline to look at some passerines. Black-Headed Grosbeak may have been the most numerous bird of the week and several were here, Green-Tailed Towhee were found in the brush along with Abert's Towhees.

I made a final stop at Redi Park to try for the Lewis' Woodpecker there. However, like the missing Franklin's Gull singletons the over-staying woodpecker appeared to have left a few days ago. All was not lost as while looking for the Luigi, I walked the neighborhood behind the park and found my first new life bird of this trip in the Hammond's Flycatcher !!

Not bad for my first day, in the urban sections of Tucson.