Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson (28 October 2010)

Did some casual birding at Sweetwater Wetlands this afternoon from 3PM-6PM with an out-of-town birder.  Passerine activity was a bit slow, but since the diversity at this spot involves much more than just songbirds, I tallied almost 50 species.  Not too bad for a single loop in the afternoon starting at 90ºF!

Highlights for me:

-All 3 species of teal, though only one obvious male BLUE-WINGED TEAL
-A nice bright REDHEAD at close range on the north side of Keyhole Pond
-DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (sitting on the stone berm between Recharge Basins 5 and 6)
-4 Rallids: SORA (2 seen very well at NW edge of Gazebo Pond), VIRGINIA RAIL (heard only), COMMON MOORHEN, and of course AMERICAN COOT
-HARRIS'S HAWK (perched in trees on north side of Sweetwater Drive)
-COOPER'S HAWK bombing after LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKERS near Hidden Pond (unsuccessfully)
-YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS by the score, swirling in from the sky to roost in the reeds throughout the wetland

Good birding,
John Yerger
Tucson, AZ
Adventure Birding Company
Specializing in flexible, personalized guiding in SE Arizona

Sweetwater Wetlands is perhaps the best place in southern Arizona to see Sora.

This Tucson hotspot is also a very reliable place to look for Harris's Hawks.

Visiting birders can find many common desert denizens here, as well, such as this Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

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